Today in New York Weather History: December 15
Today in New York Weather History: December 17

Today in New York Weather History: December 16



This was the third day in a row with a high of 26°.  Lows on these three days were 21° (12/14), 20° (12/15) and 19° (12/16).  The streak followed a high of 54° on 12/13.


The coldest day of the winter of 1910-11 was today, with a high/low of 21°/11°.


This was the tenth day in a row with a sub-freezing high temperature.  During this unusually early cold wave the average high/low was 29°/19°, twelve degrees below average.


Today was the seventh day in a row that saw highs of 32° or colder.  The average high/low during this stretch of days was 27°/17°, fourteen degrees below average.  Despite the cold conditions there was very little snow, just 0.3" today and 0.1" on the 10th.


One of New York's worst ice storms moved in during the afternoon and continued for 24 hours (the worst of it was between 11:00 PM tonight thru daybreak on 12/17).  Nearly three inches of sleet accumulated, and an inch of ice formed on sidewalks, cars and trees.  For the entirety of the storm, the temperature ranged between 27° and 30°.




A hard, steady rain fell between 9 AM-10 PM and amounted to 2.25", a record for the date. 


Today's high of 54° was the mildest reading of the month, a relatively cool reading for that distinction.




This morning had the first low of 32° or colder this season - the second latest date on record for this occurrence.  (The latest date was three years earlier, on Dec. 22.) 


1.58" of rain fell between midnight and 8:00 AM, making this the rainiest day of the month.


An overnight lashing of sleet and rain produced 0.84" of precipitation and an inch of frozen precipitation on the ground.  Then a cold front moved through after dark, producing 40-60 mph wind gusts.  


Overnight the temperature plunged from 62° at 11 PM (on 12/15) to 37° by daybreak today.  After a raw and gray day, an inch of snow fell during the evening, the first measurable snowfall of the season.  (By midnight the temperature was down to 30°.)



After six days in a row with high temperatures in the 60s, today had a cool down.  However, the high/low of 53°/46° was still thirteen degrees above average.


What a difference a year makes!  This morning's low of 17° was coldest reading in December in seven years.  And with a high/low of 27°/17° (fifteen degrees below average), today was the first completely below-freezing day since Feb. 14 (when the high/low was a frigid 15°/-1°). 


Today was rainy, raw and windy, with temperatures hovering around 40° during the daytime hours.  1.44" of rain was measured, pushing the year's total precipitation over sixty inches, making this the eighth year since 1869 to reach this level (and placing 2018 as the sixth wettest year on record).  Today's rainfall easily topped the 0.91" that fell during the first fifteen days of the month.


An intense nor'easter brought the season's first measurable snow, which began late in the afternoon.  By midnight 6.5" had piled up in Central Park and the snow continued overnight thru daybreak (adding four inches).  There were also periods of heavy sleet between 9PM-3AM.  This was December's biggest snowfall since the post-Christmas blizzard of December 2010 that paralyzed the city with 20".  Today's snowfall was more than what fell during the previous winter (4.8").  It was also a record amount for the date and was the thirteenth December snowstorm to produce ten inches or more.  This storm dumped tremendous amounts of snow in Pennsylvania, New York State and New England, with some locations picking up between two and three feet (Binghamton, NY reported 40").

Besides the snow it was also quite cold.  Today's high/low of 31°/24° made this the first day of the winter to have a high of 32° or colder.  Winds gusting between 30-40 mph created wind chills in the 10°-15° range.


Snowplow on seventh ave south












Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


December 16, 2020- Talking about big snow, this is also the first snowfall more than 6+ inches since that surprise snowstorm in 2018.


2020 was only the fifth time where the first measurable snow of the season was at least six inches. the past four times were in 2002, 2003, 2009 and 2018.

December 5, 2002 and December 5, 2003 had 6” and 8” of snow respectively.
December 19, 2009 had 9.1” of snow and November 15, 2018 had 6.4” of snow.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)