Today in New York Weather History: December 20
Today in New York Weather History: December 22

Today in New York Weather History: December 21



The first day of winter had the coldest reading of the winter, two degrees below zero.  Two days later the temperature would jump to 55°, the mildest reading since 11/1 (there were four days in November with highs of 54°).


During the six days between Dec. 16-21, there were three pairs of days with identical highs/lows: 26°/20° on Dec. 16 and 17; 28°/20° on Dec. 18 and 19; and 26°/19° on Dec. 20 and 21.


Today would be the coldest day of the winter of 1955-56, with a high/low of 18°/5°, twenty-three degrees below average.  This followed what was the second coldest day of the winter, yesterday's 20°/6°.




Today was the seventh day in a row with a sub-freezing high.  The average high/low during this Arctic outbreak was 28°/17°, which was 13 degrees colder than average.


Yesterday and today were contrasts in big swings in temperature.  Yesterday, the temperature climbed throughout the day, rising from 25° at midnight to 54° nearly twenty-four hours later.  Today, the temperature reversed course, falling from 57° just before daybreak to 25° by midnight.  Additionally, a lot of rain fell in the morning and afternoon, amounting to 2.49" (a record for the date).  Today's deluge pushed the month's precipitation over eight inches, making this the wettest December on record (a record that still stands).  An additional 1.54" of precipitation would fall in the month's remaining ten days, bringing the month's total to just under ten inches.



A hard morning rain dropped 1.65" between midnight and 9 AM.  Near the end, 0.66" fell in the hour between 6:49-7:49 AM.


Today's high of 33°/low of 24° felt even colder for many commuters who were forced to walk to work due to a three-day subway strike (Dec. 20-22).




One week after a five-inch snowfall, today saw a record high of 65° - on the first day of winter.  The high was reached shortly after 8 PM.  The previous record had been set just two years earlier.


Five days after a rainfall of 1.44", an even greater deluge occurred last night and today (thru early afternoon), measuring 1.84" (1.62" fell today).  Today's rain moved 2018 up to fifth wettest year on record, as the year's total precipitation topped 63 inches.  This storm was also accompanied by much milder air than the previous storm, with temperatures in the upper 50s and low 60s for much of the day, peaking at 61° late in the morning.  This was the first reading in the 60s since 11/7.  Besides the rain, the City also had to contend with dense fog.






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also in 2018, the high of 61° broke a string of forty-three days with highs under 60°. this was the longest such streak since one of fifty-four days in late Dec. 2015 to mid Feb. 2016, and 2018's rain made this the fourth wettest year overall, not the fifth wettest (I ignore the precipitation that fell in 1983 as the rain gauge was broken for a fraction of the year).


Only 1989 (65.11"), 1972 (67.03") and 2011 (72.81") have had more precipitation than 2018.

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