Today in New York Weather History: December 14
Today in New York Weather History: December 16

Today in New York Weather History: December 15




Since 1970 the average date of the first measurable snow in New York's Central Park is Dec. 15, with the two weeks between Dec. 5 and Dec. 19 being the "sweet spot"; however, in ten years it happened in October/November (most recently in 2018), while in eight winters it didn't occur until January, and during the winter of 2022-23 it didn't happen until 2/1.  The earliest measurable snow (since 1970) fell on Oct. 29, 2011 while the latest was Jan. 29, 1973. 


1901 (Sunday)

After mild temperatures in the overnight hours, and a hard rain in the morning that amounted to 1.16", the temperature plummeted from 60° to 22 °.


1909 (Wednesday)

This was the last day this month with a high above 40°.  (The next time the high reached 40°+ would be on Jan. 2.)


1916 (Friday)

A snowstorm dumped 12.7" of snow between 7 AM-9 PM, with nearly ten inches on the ground by mid-afternoon.  The snow was very fluffy, produced from just 0.59" of water (and by daybreak on 12/16 the amount on the ground had packed down to nine inches).  The day's high was 28°, the first of five days in a row with highs in the 20s.


1968 (Sunday)

A storm that moved in yesterday, with rain in the late morning, saw a change over to snow just after midnight today as the temperature dropped from mid-30s to the low 20s.  5.2" accumulated by 12:00 noon.


1970 (Tuesday)

0.3" of snow fell overnight, the first measurable snow of the winter.  However, it was all gone by early afternoon as the temperature rose into the upper 30s.  Today's precipitation was the first to fall on this date since 1958.


1980 (Monday)

For the first time this winter the high temperature remained below freezing all day (high of 31°/low of 18°).  And the first snowfall of the winter arrived after 9 PM, accumulating 1.1" by midnight.




2005 (Thursday)

This was the thirteenth day in a row with a high colder than 40°.  The average high/low during this nearly two-week period was 34°/25°, ten degrees colder than average.  Today's high/low of 38°/18° followed yesterday's 24°/14° (which would be the coldest day of the winter).


2008 (Monday)

Today's high temperature of 67° was a record for the date, twenty-four degrees above average.  This was one of seven days between Dec. 9 and Dec. 28 with a high of 57° or warmer (three days were 65°+).  This was also the third year in a row to have 0.01" of precipitation fall on this date.


2015 (Tuesday)

For the sixth day in a row temperatures rose into the 60s - and today was the mildest of them all, with a high of 68° reached in the wee hours of the morning.  The only longer streak of 60°+ in December is one of seven days in 1998 during the first week of the month.  Today was the third day in a row with a record high, and the fourth day in a row with a record-mild low temperature.




2017 (Friday)

With a high/low of 28°/20° today was the third day in a row with a high of 32° or colder, the longest such streak in December in seven years.  And during the afternoon/early evening 1.2" of snow fell, the third day in the past seven with a snowfall of an inch or more (joining 4.6" that fell on 12/9 and 1.2" on 12/14). 







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Can anything stop this December from becoming the warmest ever -- by a wide margin?


Hi Roger,

based on the long-range forecast for the rest of the month it doesn't appear so. The rest of December looks like it will be similar to the first half, which was 12 degrees above average, so the month may end up 10 degrees or more above average, easily smashing 2001's record, which was 6.6 degrees above the norm. And even if the rest of the month had temperatures at the seasonal average, the month would probably still break 2001's record.)



2017 - as of 4PM, 0.2" of snow fell, making this the first time measurable snow fell on this date since 1989 when 0.7" fell.


regarding the 2008 highlight, this date is tied with January 29 as the day that's experienced the most years with 0.01" of precipitation (eleven times), and like today, January 29 also experienced 0.01" of precipitation in 2008.


2020 - with a high/low of 39/30, this was the 289th day in a row with a low of 30° or warmer, the longest such streak on record. this crushed the previous record from 1998 and 2015 by a whopping nine days. this was only the eleventh December, and the sixth since 1990, with no reading of 29° or colder in the first fifteen days of the month.


besides 1909, 1880 is the only other December with no reading of 40° or warmer in the final sixteen days of the month.


2020 - this was the 332nd day in a row with no measurable snow, the longest such streak on record. this broke the previous record from March 1972 to January 1973 (which lasted for 320 days to be exact). 2002 had a streak of this kind that lasted for 319 days (which lasted from January 20 to December fourth).


are you sure that this is the average date for a season’s first measurable snow? the NWS tweeted that December thirteenth is the average date for this occurrence.



We're likely using different years. As my post indicates, the average I use is based on the fifty years since 1970. Do you know what time frame the NWS is using?


No I don't know what time frame the NWS was using here. I imagine there's a difference in the average date for a season's first measurable snow cause they probably looked at every single year (including the last three decades of the nineteenth century), while you only looked at the 50+ years since 1970 and not any of the years that preceded 1970.


The probably used a 30-year average, like they do with most of their averages.

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