Today in New York Weather History: Christmas Day Highlights (December 25)
Today in New York Weather History: December 27

Today in New York Weather History: December 26



On a day with frigid temperatures (the high/low was just 12°/6°), New York City experienced its first of four crippling snowstorms on 12/26 (the others would be in 1933, 1947 and 2010).  Eighteen inches piled up, making this New York's biggest snowstorm until the Great Blizzard of March 1888.  (It's now ranked twelfth.)


Closed snow days


Seven inches of snow fell today.  A month later (1/25) it would be edged out as the biggest snowfall of the winter, when eight inches piled up.


Today's three-inch snowfall was the eighth time since 1872 that an inch or more fell on this date, an average of once every three years.  Thereafter, however, the rate slowed to once every fifteen years.  (12/26 is the date in December most likely to see one-inch+ of snow.) 


A little more than 24 hours after temperatures were in the mid-50s, a snowstorm swept into the City shortly after daybreak and by early afternoon ten inches had fallen and temperatures were in the mid-20s.  An additional inch of snow fell in the early evening, bringing the day's snowfall total to 11.2".


1930s snowstorm nyc


Today was the 94th, and last, day of the year with measurable precipitation (0.02" fell between noon and 1 PM), tying 1908 as the year with the fewest such days.  (The average number of days of measurable precipitation in the 20th century was 122.)  Although the two years were tie, 1941 had two inches less precipitation (39 vs. 41 inches).


Snow began falling around 3:30 AM and fell steadily all day; at times the rate was two inches per hour (the forecast at daybreak called for a five-inch snowfall).  Winds gusted as high as 36 mph during the evening and temperatures hovered around 29° for much of the storm.  By midnight, 25.5" had piled up and an additional 0.9" fell after midnight.  This easily broke New York's previous snowfall record of 21.0" set during the great blizzard of March 1888 - and it would remain the City's greatest snowfall of all time until February 2006, when 26.9" fell (it now ranks third).  This storm came three days after a snowfall of 2.5".


1947-december nyc blizzard-lifemagazine


Although it was just 2.9", the light snow that fell today in the morning and afternoon would be the biggest snowfall of the winter of 1950-51.  This would also be the coldest day of the winter, with a high/low of 22°/9°.


With a high of 34°/14°, today was the sixteenth day since 11/30 with a mean temperature ten degrees or more colder than average.  This nearly four-week period was nine degrees colder than average.  However, despite the cold,  just 3.8" of snow fell during this period.




For the eighth day in a row, skies were overcast.


1.19" of rain fell today, making this the month's sixth rainstorm of one inch or more.  The lion's share of today's rain fell between 3-9 PM.   


Two days after the coldest reading of the entire year (high/low of 23°/16°), today's high temperature was 30 degrees milder.  And yesterday's icy mix changed to a hard rain that amounted to 1.66" by the time it ended in the early afternoon. 


For a second day in a row a record high was set as today's high temperature reached 63°.


This was the 18th day in a row with above average temperatures.  During this string of mild days temperatures were nearly 10 degrees above average.


Very similar to 1984, today was the end of a mild stretch of eighteen days in which temperatures were eight degrees above average.


Today was the first day of the winter with a high temperature of 32° or colder.  The day's high/low was 32°/15°, ten degrees below average.   


Snow began falling during the afternoon, and by evening blizzard conditions had developed.  When the flakes stopped flying the following morning, 20 inches had piled up.  The City was largely unprepared for a storm of this magnitude (and mayor Michael Bloomberg was on vacation at an undisclosed location).  This was New York's sixth biggest snowstorm, and it was the second 20-inch accumulation of the year - the only year to have this distinction (the first was on Feb. 25-26 when 20.9" fell).




A sprawling winter storm, stretching from Texas to New England, arrived later in the afternoon.  After starting as snow (0.4" accumulated in Central Park, the first snowfall since the record 4.7" of snow on Nov. 7-8), the precipitation turned into heavy rain that was accompanied by high winds (a total of 1.61" of rain fell thru daybreak on 12/27, 0.99" of it thru midnight tonight).  This was the ninth year of the last eleven that had precipitation fall on this date.   


With a high/low of 59°/47°, this was the 93rd day of the year with a mean temperature ten degrees or more above/below average (today's departure from the norm was +19 degrees) - the most in the years since 1955.  The previous record holder was 1989.












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Great info I remember the snow of xmas eve 1966


The high/low on this date in 2020 was 32°/24°. This was 29 degrees colder than the high of 61° yesterday (Christmas Day), and the biggest drop in between high temperatures since 2018, when the high of 44° on 4/15 was 33 degrees colder than 4/14's 77°. It was also the month's 4th day so far with a high of 32° or colder, the most of any month in 2020 (the others were on 12/16, 17, & 19).

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