Today in New York Weather History: January 2
Today in New York Weather History: January 4

Today in New York Weather History: January 3



The biggest snowfall of the winter began this afternoon and continued until daybreak on the 4th, accumulating 9.0".  The temperature fell slowly through the storm, dropping from 33° to 29°.


Less than a month after an epic ice storm (Dec. 16-17) another winter storm brought significant sleet and freezing rain.  Beginning mid-afternoon and continuing thru daybreak on 1/4, 0.71" of liquid precipitation was measured and 1.8" of sleet/snow accumulated (much of it fell today).  Just two degrees separated today's high and low (32°/30°).


Epic ice storm


Today's air was so dry and cold (high of 21°/low of 13°) that 1.5 inches of fluffy snow was produced from just 0.03" of liquid - an incredible 50:1 frozen-to-liquid ratio (10:1 is more typical for the Northeast).   


This was the last day of a 20-day stretch in which temperatures never fell below average.  However, there were no temperature extremes, as only one day had a high above 50°.  




An unseasonably mild afternoon high of 62° occurred just two days after a morning low of 11°.


2.42" of rain fell, with 0.89" pouring down between 10-11 AM.  This was a record for the date.  Today's high was 51°, the only day between Dec. 31 and Jan. 6 to have a high temperature above freezing.



A record high of 64° (25 degrees above average) eclipsed the previous record set three years earlier.  This was the second of three days in a row with readings in the 60s.


Today was the 13th day in a row in which the high temperature failed to get above freezing.  This was three days short of the all-time streak of sixteen days that occurred in Jan./Feb. 1961.




With a bone-chilling high of just 20° (and wind chills in the single digits), today was the first day this winter to be completely below freezing.  This was the latest date for this first freezing-or-colder occurrence in 21 years (when it happened on Jan. 20, 1987 - the latest date ever).  Combined with a low of 12°, this would be the coldest day of the winter - seventeen degrees below average.


Today's maximum temperature was 32°, the first day this winter with a high of 32°or colder.  In the past 40 years, only four other winters have had a later date for this occurrence.  (The winter of 2007-08 had its first freezing high on this date as well.) 




Snow ended before daybreak and the rest of the day had clear skies and frigid temperatures.  3.3" fell after midnight, bringing the storm's total accumulation to 6.4".  With a high of just 18°/low of 9° (as midnight approached), the day's mean temperature was 19 degrees below average - the coldest in five years.  







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2016 - with a high/low of 45/35, today was the two hundred eightieth consecutive day in which readings managed to remain above sub freezing levels (31° or colder), the longest such streak on record, besting the previous record from 1998 by six days. 1998's streak lasted from March 23 to December 21.


Was the 20 degree high in 2008 the coldest ever "first 32 or lower high of the season"?


to answer Harry’s question, there have actually been four other winters with first 32° or lower highs of the season that were as cold as the one during the winter of 2007-2008.

the winter of 1875-1876: the first high temp of 32° or colder was on November 30 (14°).
the winter of 1902-1903: the first high temp of 32° or colder was on December ninth (18°).
the winter of 1914-1915: the first high temp of 32° or colder was on December 15 (20°).
the winter of 1951-1952: the first high temp of 32° or colder was on December 16 (20°).

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