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New York Weather Highlights: New Year's Eve

 

Fathertime_babynewyear

1892

This was the eleventh day in a row with a high of 32° or colder.  The average high during this streak was 26°.  This chill, however, would end on New Year's Day when the temperature rose into the low 50s after nightfall.

1895

This was the fifth day since 12/20 to have a high of 60°, which was the mildest reading of the month.  It wouldn't be this mild again until 3/31.

1907

On the night of the first ball-drop in Times Square the temperature was in the mid-30s under fair skies.

1917

The year ended on a bitterly cold note, one of New York's coldest days on record, as the high/low was only +6°/-7°.  When the ball dropped in Times Square the temperature was one degree above zero - by far the coldest ball-drop temperature (the second coldest reading, 9°, occurred 100 years later).  And the wind chill was around -20°.

 

Winter clothing in 1910s
1926

Today's snowfall of 0.4" (which fell after 9:00 PM) was the eleventh day this month with measurable snow, with all but one of these days getting less than an inch.  The one day to see more than an inch was 12/5 which had 7.9", the biggest snowfall of the winter.  The other ten days with snow had a combined total of 3.8".

1935

Today's high was 29°, making this the eleventh day in a row with a sub-freezing high temperature.  The average high/low during these days was 26°/16°, fourteen degrees below average.  (Later in the winter, in February, there would be a twelve-day streak with highs of 32° or colder.)

1948

This was the rainiest as well as snowiest New Year's Eve on record as the temperature fell during the day from 52° to 25°.  Total precipitation was 1.40" and four inches of snow fell during the evening (and an additional 1.5" fell after midnight).  The second half of December was, like today, very wet and snowy, with six inches of precipitation measured and 25.3" of snow. 

 

Snowy park scene

1962

With a high/low of just 13°/4° (25 degrees below average) this was the second coldest New Year's Eve on record (as mentioned earlier, 1917 was the coldest).  The cold was made even more bitter by high winds that gusted between 35-45 mph.  When the ball dropped at midnight in Times Square the temperature was 11°, with a wind chill of around 15° below zero.  This last day of 1962 was the coldest of the entire year, much colder than Feb. 11, the second coldest day, which had a high/low of 25°/4°.

 

Brrr

1967

December ended much like November, with light snow falling from mid-afternoon to a little past midnight on New Year's Day.  In total, 3.3" fell, with three inches of it accumulating today.

1970

High temperatures over the past ten days ranged between 30°-34°, about eight degrees colder than average. 

1972

Today was the nineteenth day this month to have measurable precipitation (0.36" fell), the most for any month in the 20th century (tied just five months later in May 1973, and many years later in May 2019).  The temperature rose throughout the day and when the ball dropped in Times Square it was a very mild 59°.

1973

It was a raw and damp end to the year.  Between 11 PM and midnight 0.05" of rain fell, and the temperature was 33° when the ball dropped in Times Square.  Today's 0.29" of rainfall brought the month's total precipitation to just under ten inches (9.98").

1975

Showers moved in after dark and between 11 PM and midnight 0.05" of cold rain fell.  When the countdown to 1976 took place, the temperature was in the mid-30s.  This was the fourth year in a row to have rain falling when the ball dropped at Times Square.

1980

It was a frosty end to the year, with a high/low of 27°/14°.  The morning low was the coldest for the date since 1962's +4°.

1987

After a quite cold morning low of 15° the temperature rose to 40° by midnight.

 

Babynewyear

1989

This was the only day of this very cold month with an above average mean temperature (high of 53°/low of 31°).  It was also the wettest New Year's Eve since 1948 as 0.52" fell - the only significant rainfall of a bone dry month in which just 0.31" was measured before today.  (Going into December it appeared 1989 would go down as the wettest year on record as only 2.76" was needed to pass 1972's total of 67.03", but it was not to be.)

1992

The temperature rose to a very mild 61°, one degree warmer than last year, and the mildest reading on the last day of the year since 1965's record of 63°.

1993

It was a very cold end to the year as today and the past five days averaged 11 degrees below average (high of 27°/low of 16°).  This frigid trend would continue in January.

1996

A cold front moved through during the afternoon and by midnight the temperature had plummeted to 15° with a wind chill near zero.

Arrow_pointing_downward

1998

Today's high/low of 25°/17° made this the coldest day of the month.  The past three years also had very cold morning lows on this date: 17°, 17° and 15°.

2001

Whereas 1989's bitterly cold December ended on a mild note, this December, which was the mildest on record (until 2015), ended cold, with a high/low of 31°/20°.  This would be the coldest day of the mild winter of 2001-02.  Five of the past six New Year's Eves had temperatures well below average (the exception being 1999's high/low of 43°/34°).

 

Baby_new_year 

2003

The last ten days of the year were close to 10 degrees milder than average (high 51°/low 38°).

2006

The year ended with twenty-one days in a row with above average temperatures, which averaged 12 degrees milder than normal.  During these days no temperature of freezing or colder was reported.  This was also just the second December to have no measurable snow or even a "trace".

2008

This morning's low of 18° was the coldest on this date in ten years.  

2009

1.5" of snow fell, the first measurable snowfall on New Year's Eve since 1967, when three inches fell.  2009 was the seventh year in a row with more than 50 inches of precipitation.  The average over these years was 56.40", seven inches above average.  This December's total precipitation of 7.27" surpassed the previous December's 6.62", making it the wettest since 1973.  (Dec. 2009 and 2008 both ranked among the ten wettest)  

 

Clipart_snow_from_cloud 

2011

The year ended on a mild note, with a high of 54°/low of 46°, the tenth day of the month in which temperatures were ten degrees or more above average.  Today was sixteen degrees above the norm.  The month ended up being the fourth mildest December on record (now ranked fifth).  It was also just the third December since 1900 to have no measurable snow, or even a "trace" (the second such December was five years ago). 

2012

The morning low of 28° tied 12/30 and 12/26 as the coldest reading of the month.  In the past 40 years no December had a minimum temperature this mild (the previous record was 26° in 1974).  The typical coldest temperature in December is 16°.     

2014

Under sunny skies, it was a frosty close to the year, with a high/low of 32°/27°.  (Last year also ended with a high of 32°.)  Today's high was the first this winter at 32° or colder, nine days later than average. 

2015

With a high/low of 48°/42° today was the 18th day this month with a mean temperature that was 10 degrees or more above average.  Thus ended the first month on record in which no day reported a below average mean temperature.  (December's chilliest day, 12/19, was two degrees above average, with a high/low of 40°/35°).  

2017

The coldest reading of the entire year occurred tonight when the temperature fell to 9° shortly before midnight (wind chill was -5°).  This was the second coldest reading for the ball-drop at Times Square, besting 1962's temperature by two degrees (2017 was also the 100-year anniversary of the coldest ball-drop reading).  Today, with a high/low of 20°/9°, was the sixth day in a row with a high colder than 32° and the fifth in a row colder than 25°.  The last time New York experienced this many consecutive days with highs of 25° or colder was in January 2004.

 

Ball drop temperature

2018

Light rain that moved in mid-afternoon became a soaking rain after 7:30.  Not only was this the first New Year's Eve since 1994 in which rain fell during the ball drop in Times Square, it was also the wettest New Year's Eve since 1948.  This was the fourth day since 12/16 to have more than an inch of rain and it brought December's rainfall well above six inches (no measurable snow fell this month), making it the fifth month of the past six to have six inches or more.  Finally, today's 1.02" rainfall moved 2018 up to fourth place on the all-time list of wettest years (65.55", more than fifteen inches above average). 

 

 

 

 

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Today in New York Weather History: December 30

 

1908

Today was the last day, and 94th day of the year, with measurable precipitation (0.12" of rain fell) - the fewest number of days on record (later tied in 1941).  The year's total precipitation, 41.01", was slightly below the average of the previous 40 years (43.58").

1919

Last winter the biggest snowfall was 1.4" (and the winter's total was 3.8").  By contrast, in the past two weeks four snowfalls exceeded that amount: 2.1" on Dec. 16-17; 1.9" on Dec. 19; 2.8" on Dec. 24-25 and 2.0" today.

 

Clip art snowman

1921

For the second day this month the morning low was 7° (the first time was on 12/22).

1933

The morning low was six degrees below zero, the coldest reading in New York since February 1918.  Temperatures were sub-zero for ten hours (from 11:00 last night thru 9:00 this morning).  And although this was one of New York's coldest readings, it would be easily topped six weeks later by a low of -15°, Central Park's coldest reading of all time.  And as frigid as this morning's low was it was far from the record for the date, which was -13° set in 1917.

 

Minus-6

1942

Two-thirds of the month's 4.57" of precipitation (2.98") fell between 11:00 PM on the 27th thru early evening today.  Today had the greatest amount of rain, 1.34", with nearly half an inch falling between 10:00 and 11:00 AM.

1962

Arctic cold descended upon the New York area shortly after midnight and temperatures plunged from the mid-30s to single digits by 6:00 PM (it was 5° just before midnight).  Winds gusted between 35 to 45 mph throughout the day, producing nighttime wind chills of between -15° to -20°.

 

Baby.its.cold.outside

1971

Between Dec. 7 and today, temperatures were close to eight degrees above average.  Thirteen of these days, including today (high/low of 51°/38°), were ten degrees or more above average.  0.52" of rain fell between 10 AM and 3 PM - the first measurable precipitation on this date since 1958 (when just 0.01" fell).

1983

It was reported today that the year's extraordinary, and record-setting, amount of precipitation (totaling 80.56") was most likely the result of a malfunctioning rain gauge in Central Park beginning back in May.

1984

Although it was five degrees "cooler" than yesterday's balmy 70°, today's high of 65° was still plenty warm enough for another record high. 

1987

Yesterday's three-inch snowfall was followed by an Arctic blast, and today's high of 21°/low of 8° made this by far the coldest day of December.  These readings were 20 degrees below average. 

1989

This was the 32nd day in a row with below average temperatures, a period in which readings were close to 11 degrees colder than normal.  However, despite these ice-box conditions just 1.4" of snow fell during the month. 

2000

A foot of snow fell today.  Not only was it a record for the date, but the most snow since the blizzard of January 1996, and the biggest December snowstorm since 1960.  The snow fell in an eight-hour period between 5:00 AM-1:00 PM.  (That's me in the photo.) 

 

Dec30_2000snowstorm

2001

In the midst of New York's mildest December on record (until 2015), today was the first day this winter with a high temperature of 32° or colder.  There would be just two other such days for the rest of the winter (the average number is 17).     

2019

Rainy and cold, with the temperature hovering around 40° for much of the day.  Rain that moved in yesterday evening continued for a little more than 24 hours, amounting to 0.99" (0.74" of it fell today).  In the waning hours of the storm gusty winds kicked in, with a peak gust of 39 mph.  This rain brought December's precipitation total to 7.07", making it not only the rainiest month of the year (passing May's 6.82") but also placing it among the 10 wettest Decembers, tied for fifth place with Dec. 1969 (and the tie would be broken tomorrow evening when passing showers produced 0.02").  By coincidence, last December also placed among the ten wettest (now ranked ninth).

Finally, today was 2019's 147th day with measurable precipitation, the third most on record.  However, it ranked 28th for the total amount of precipitation measured.  (Last year, which had the most days of precipitation, ranked fourth in terms of amount of precipitation.)

 

Chart - years with most precip

 

Rainy new york

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Today in New York Weather History: December 29

 

1914

Today was the eighth day this month with measurable snow, but each day had less than one inch of accumulation (a total of 2.6" fell).

1955

The 0.3" of snow that fell this evening was the last precipitation of the month, a month in which  only 0.25" was measured - the smallest amount ever reported in December (a record that still stands), and the third driest month of all time (now ranked fifth).  Additionally, 1955 became just the second year to have three months with less than an inch of precipitation (January and July were the other two months); the other year was 1881. 

1982

Today's high was 65°, the seventh day this month with a high in the 60s.  It was also the eleventh day with a mean temperature 15 degrees or more above average.  Additionally, although just 0.02" of rain fell, this was the first measurable precipitation on this date in fifteen years.

1984

Just two days after nearly five inches of snow blanketed Central Park the temperature soared to a record 70° - 31 degrees above average.

 

Clipart_meltingsnowman2 

1987

2.6" of snow fell, the month's only snowfall.  (This came seven weeks after the season's first snowfall of 1.1" on Nov. 11.)  And with a high of 31°, this was the first day of the winter with a maximum temperature of 32° or colder. 

1993

Four inches of snow fell between 6PM-2AM.  It was the biggest accumulation of the month, besting the 2.9" that fell on Dec. 11.

1994

For those who get a kick out of numerical patterns, today's and the previous two days' highs were 33° (today), 44° and 55°.

1998

Only 1.12" of precipitation was measured this month and most of it fell today as 0.71" of rain was measured.  The entire second half of 1998 was very dry.  After 36 inches of precipitation fell in the year's first half, only 12.15" fell after July 1.  

 

Dry   

2009

Today was 10 degrees colder than average.  It was the year's 50th day with a variation in mean temperature of +/-10 degrees, the fewest such days since 1969, which had 48 (a typical year has 69).    

2012

With a high/low of 34°/30°, today's mean temperature was two degrees below average, the first colder than average day since Dec. 6.  This was also the last day of the year in which precipitation fell.  The 0.26" that fell brought the year's total to 38.51", eleven inches below the norm.  This was the first time since 2001 that less than 40 inches was measured in Central Park.    

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Today in New York Weather History: December 28

 

1901

Today and the previous five days had very similar, slightly above average high temperatures: 42°-43°-43°-42°-43°-44° (today).

1908

The highs and lows of Dec. 26-28 were very similar: 40°/35°, 40°/34° and 40°/35° (today).  And temperatures on Dec. 25 and 29 were somewhat similar as well (42°/36° and 43°/35°).

1917

Beginning today and continuing through Jan. 4 record lows were set on seven of the eight days - and all of them are still standing.  (Only 1/3, with a low of zero, didn't set a record.)

 

Winter of 1917-18

1940

Today's high of 49° followed a high of 50° yesterday and a high of 51° on 12/26.  Conversely, low temperatures had a pattern in the opposite direction, with a high of 43° today, 42° on 12/27 and 41° two days ago.  All of these readings were well above average.

1952

Today's high/low of 30°/12° made this the coldest day of the entire winter.  And there would be just one more day this winter with a sub-freezing high (on Feb. 2).

1961

The 0.35" of rain that fell this morning was the last day measurable precipitation fell this month, and brought the month's total to 3.04" - the same amount as last December.

1964

The year's last measurable precipitation fell just after midnight.  The year's total of 32.99", ten inches below average, made this the driest year on record (the previous driest year was 1910).  The record, however, lasted just one year as 1965 would be even drier, with just 26.09" measured in Central Park. 

1968

Today's high of 56° (reached after dark) would be the last reading in the 50s (or warmer) until March 16. 

1980

The 0.1" of sleet that fell overnight was the last measurable precipitation of the month (and year).  At just 0.58", this was the second driest December on record (behind Dec. 1955).

1983

Three days after a morning low of 4° above zero today's high temperature rose to 55°.

Downuparrows 

1988

After a nine-day period from Dec. 10-18 when temperatures averaged nearly 11 degrees colder than normal, temperatures rebounded and the next nine days (today was the last) were eight degrees milder than average.

1990

Today's 7.2" snowfall (which began late last night) was the first snowfall of the winter, the largest accumulation in nearly four years (since January 1987), and the biggest December snowfall since 1960.  Snow ended shortly before 11 AM.   

2008

Today's high of 65° was a record for the date, and 25 degrees above average.

2010

I was visiting my mother in Pittsburgh for Christmas, which was unaffected by the East Coast blizzard of 12/26-27.  However, I felt its impact today, the day I was scheduled to fly back to New York, as most flights were still cancelled; mine was no exception.  However, Jet Blue chartered a luxury bus to JFK Airport.  The trip took eight hours but at least I got back home on the day I was supposed to (albeit at 1 AM).

 

2010_xmasblizzard_airport 

2014

Today was the sixth day in a row in which the mean temperature was 10 degrees or more above average, the longest such streak since one of eight days in March 2012.  Today's high/low of 54°/43° (under mostly overcast skies) was also the average high/low of the past six days.  These six days were 14 degrees milder than average.

2017

Today's high/low of 18°/11° made this the coldest day of the year (topping Jan. 9, which had a high/low of 23°/14°) and the coldest day in nearly two years - since Feb. 14, 2016, which had a frigid high/low of 15°/-1°.

 

Shivering man

2018

A steady rain that fell mostly during the daylight hours measured 1.15", bringing December's total precipitation over five inches, the eighth month this year with five+ inches - the most on record for any year.  This was the third rainstorm of an inch or more since 12/16.  Besides the rain, today was also unseasonably mild, with a high of 60° (quite a contrast from a year ago).   

 

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Today in New York Weather History: December 27

 

1872

The day after a blizzard buried New York under a foot-and-a-half of snow the mercury dropped to 6°, which was the sixth day in a row with a low in the single digits.  There would be eight more days with lows of ten degrees or colder this winter, which ranks as New York's seventh coldest on record.

1899

The 0.1" of snow that accumulated today was the first measurable snowfall of the winter, a winter that would have 13.4" of snow in total, the least since the winter of 1878.

1925

Today's high/low was a frigid 16°/8°, twenty-one degrees below average.  The high is the coldest ever recorded on this date, and the day's mean temperature was the coldest in December since Dec. 18, 1919, when the high/low was 11°/-1°. 

1964

For the third day in a row the high temperature was 60°.  However, today's high occurred shortly after midnight and then the mercury fell for the rest of the day, bottoming out at 36° twenty-four hours later.  The day was also a rainy one, with 0.72" measured.

 

60

1981

This was the third day in a row with a high of 40°, which was seasonably cold for this time of year.

1984

In the midst of a very mild month today was an anomaly as 4.8" of snow fell during the morning. 

1989

Eighteen of the past twenty-seven days had mean temperatures that were 10 degrees or more colder than average.  The past seven days all had morning lows of 14° or colder - and the average low during this week was just 10°, nineteen degrees colder than average.

 

Clipart_freezingman2

1992

With a high/low of 31°/18°, today was the first day of the winter completely below freezing.  There would be only seven other such days this winter (the average number is 17).

2001

This very mild December was the mirror image of 1989's frigid December as today was the first day that was colder than average - and it was the first cold day in five weeks (since Nov. 21). 

2004

The winter's first snowfall of one-inch or more fell between 2:00 and 6:00 this morning, accumulating 1.8".  The rest of the day was quite cold, with a high/low of 29°/19°.

2010

Although yesterday's 12.2" of snow wasn't a record for the date (the blizzard shared the date with New York's great 1947 snowstorm), today's 7.8" was.  The blizzard's bull's-eye was west of New York, where most towns in New Jersey were buried by more than two feet of snow (e.g., Newark measured 24.2").  This was also the 103nd, and last, day of precipitation for the year, tying 1965 as the fewest days in the years since 1950.  The average number of such days is 122.

 

December2010_blizzard2 

2011

For the second year in a row it was a challenge returning to New York after visiting my mother in Pittsburgh for Christmas.  Last year's trip was impacted by the blizzard.  This year New York was lashed by a rainstorm (1.02" fell) with high winds between 6-9:00 PM that delayed my 5:30 flight to JFK until 9:30.  With a high of 57°/low of 38°, today's mean temperature was 14 degrees above average, the eighth day this month with temperatures 10 degrees+ milder than average.  This was also the 24th day this year with an inch or more of precipitation, the second most of any year, breaking a tie with 2007 and 2010 (the greatest number of days was in 1983, which had thirty).       

 

Downpour_nighttime

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Today in New York Weather History: December 26

 

1872

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

1890

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.

1897

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.) 

1933

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

1941

Today was the 94th, and last, day of the year with measurable precipitation (0.02" fell between noon and 1:00 PM), tying 1908 as the year with 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).

1947

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

1950

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°.

1958

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.

 

Oldmanwinter

1972

This was the eighth day in a row with overcast skies.

1973

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 3-9:00 PM.   

1975

Two days after the coldest reading of the entire year (high/low of 23°/16°), today's 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. 

1982

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

1984

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.

1987

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

1993

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.   

2010

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).

 

Christmas_blizzard2010 

2012

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 fell on Nov. 7-8), the precipitation turned into heavy rain 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.   

2015

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

 Christmassnow

 

1909

Snow began falling mid-afternoon and by midnight seven inches had accumulated (and an additional inch fell after midnight).  After 9:00 PM winds gusted to 30 mph.  This snowfall exceeded the Christmas snowfall of 1902 by half an inch, making this the snowiest Christmas Day on record (a record that still stands).

1910

Today was the thirteenth (and last) day this month with a high of 32° or colder.

1920

Today had the winter's first high of 32° or colder (but there was no white Christmas - the winter's first measurable snowfall would arrive tomorrow evening).

1940

Under clear skies, today's very mild high of 62° (two degrees shy of the 1889 record) was twice as warm as Easter's bitingly cold high of 31° (the only Easter with a sub-freezing high). 

1945

A two-week deep-freeze loosened its grip as the temperature climbed from 20° to 51° after dark.  (The average high/low of the previous two weeks was 28°/17°.)  The milder air was drawn up by a coastal storm that lashed the area in the PM hours with 50 mph winds and 1.26" of rain. 

 

Clipart_fiercewinds

1955

Every day between Dec. 19 and Jan. 2 had well below average temperatures except for today, which had a high of 51° under mostly sunny skies.

1963

With a high/low of 39°/33° this was the first Christmas since 1955 that was completely above freezing.  Despite these temperatures the day dawned with a thick mantle of white left from the snowstorm of 12/23-24 that dumped 6.6" of snow on the City.  This was the fourth Christmas Day of the past five to have an inch or more of snow on the ground.

1965

One year after the high reached 60° on Christmas Day, today's high was 59°.  It was also rainy, with 0.65" falling between 11:00 AM and 9:00 PM.  Today's high was seven degrees warmer than Easter Sunday's.  Today's rain was the last measurable precipitation to fall this year, which was by far the driest year on record - just 26.09" was measured at Central Park, nearly seven inches less than the previous driest year - which was last year.

1966

Yesterday's snowstorm ended in the wee hours of Christmas morning, leaving seven inches on the ground at daybreak.  Skies cleared in the morning and temperatures were well below average, with a high/low of 32°/23°. 

1968

Under clear skies it was windy and very cold, with a high/low of 23°/13° (sixteen degrees below average).  Wind chills were between zero and +5° for much of the day.

1969

The day started sunny, but as an intense winter storm approached clouds moved in during the afternoon and light snow began falling after dark, with 2.1" on the ground by midnight.  Temperatures were quite cold, with a high/low of 29°/14°.  (The worst of the storm would be on the 26th, with the City getting an additional 4.2" of snow and then a lashing of rain accompanied by winds gusting over 40 mph.) 

1970

Just three degrees separated today's high and low (32°/29°), the fifth day since Dec. 11 to have such a narrow diurnal variation - highly unusual since a typical year averages just two days with a variation this narrow.  This was the third year in a row in which Christmas Day had a high of 32° or colder, just the second time with a streak this long on 12/25 (the other occurred in 1883, 1884 and 1885).  

1974

One month after the first measurable snow of the season fell, the second snowfall of the season occurred early in the evening.  And like last month, it was the same insignificant amount - 0.1".

1975

Most of the 1.8" of snow that fell on Dec. 23 was gone, but a mix of sleet/snow/freezing rain this afternoon and evening accumulated 0.5", giving the City a touch of a white Christmas.  The day's high occurred as midnight approached, with the temperature reaching 33°.

1976

The first snow of the season arrived on Christmas night, and by daybreak on 12/26, 3.1" had accumulated (just 0.4" fell on 12/25).  This was the third year in a row in which measurable snow fell on Christmas Day, the only time snow has fallen on the holiday in three consecutive years (but none of the years had an inch or more of accumulation).

1978

Santa needed an umbrella as steady rain in the pre-dawn hours amounted to 0.79" (this was on top of 0.69" that fell yesterday evening).  The rest of the day was overcast and raw with a high/low of 45°/35° - which was almost identical to Easter's high/low (44°/34°).

 

Christmas_rockefellercenter

 

1979

It was a very mild holiday that started off rainy; 0.87" fell, mostly around daybreak (5-8:00 AM).  While the day's high of 61° was the mildest since Christmas Day 1940's 62°, the morning low of 50° was the mildest ever on Dec. 25.  Today's high/low was nearly identical to that of this year's mild Thanksgiving Day (61°/50° vs. 60°/51°) - and it was milder than this year's Easter Sunday (55°/42°).

1980

This morning's frigid morning low of 1° below zero (30 degrees below average) was the coldest reading of the year and a record for Christmas Day.  And if that wasn't cold enough, gale force winds produced a "feels like" temperature of -25°.

 

Brrr2 

1982

Two years after the coldest temperature ever recorded on Christmas Day, today's high of 64° tied 1889 as the mildest Christmas on record.  It was also eight degrees milder than this year's Easter Sunday.

 

Christmas_radiocity

 

1983

Similar to three years ago, Christmas Day turned out to be the coldest day of the year, with a high of 13°/low of 4°.  The day was 27 degrees colder than a typical Dec. 25 (41°/29°).

1984

Today was the twentieth day this year in which 0.01" of precipitation was measured (between 1-2:00 AM), the most of any year in the 1970-2020 period.  The annual average is eleven days.

1985

The temperature tumbled all day, from a morning high of 48° to a biting cold 20° by midnight.

1986

It was a wet Christmas Eve/Christmas morning as 1.05" of rain fell during Santa's peak travel time, 7PM-3AM.

1988

This was the third year in a row in which Christmas Day had the mild high temperature of 53°.

1990

Just two days after a high/low of 66°/57°, today's high was a frosty 31° - the first day of the winter with a high temperature of 32° or colder. 

1994

Today's high of 59°/low of 41°, fifteen degrees above average, made this the mildest Christmas in twelve years.  The high/low was on-par with this year's Easter Sunday (61/43).

1999

Today's high of 28°/low of 19° made this the coldest day of the month.

2000

With a high of 27°/low of 15°, this was the coldest Christmas Day since 1989.  It was also the coldest day of the winter, later tied by Feb. 22.

2002

A sloppy winter storm produced the most precipitation ever measured on Christmas Day (1.30") and the most snow (five inches) since 1909, when seven inches fell (the most ever on 12/25).  Morning/afternoon rain changed to snow later in the afternoon.  This was the first Christmas Day snowfall of an inch or more in thirty-three years - and the last time measurable snow fell on the holiday (through 2020) .

 

Snow_christmas

 

2010

It was calm and cold (high 32°/low 25°) the day before a blizzard moved up the coast, a storm that seemed to come out of nowhere.    

2013

With a high of 31°/19°, this was the coldest Christmas Day since 2000.  This was quite a contrast from three days earlier when the high/low was 71°/61°.  

2014

Today's mild high of 62° (reached shortly before 4:00 AM) was twice as warm as last Christmas - and two degrees warmer than Easter.  Showers in the early morning hours made this the fifteenth day with precipitation this month, the most of any month this year. 

2015

For the second day in a row a record high maximum and minimum temperature were set.  The high of 66° occurred just after midnight.  The low of 57° was seven degrees milder than the previous record.  This was the month's fourth record daily maximum and fifth record minimum.  For the second year in a row Christmas Day was warmer than Easter Sunday.

2016

At 43° today's mean temperature (eight degrees above average) was identical to that of Thanksgiving Day (one degree above average).  However, the high/low were slightly different, with today's high of 50° two degrees warmer than Thanksgiving Day and the low of 36° two degrees colder.

2020

A fierce storm lashed the area overnight with rain and strong winds that gusted to 45-65 mph (a gust of 47 mph was clocked at Central Park).  The 0.92" of rain that fell was the third greatest amount to fall on the holiday (behind 1945 and 2002).  The high, reached a few hours before daybreak, was 61° - the eighth time the high was in the 60s on 12/25.  After the rain and wind exited, sharply colder air moved in, dropping the mercury to 29° by midnight.  With today's mild high, 2020 became just the second year (2015 is the other) with highs in the 60s on Christmas Day (61°), Thanksgiving Day (65°) and Easter Sunday (63°).

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Today in New York Weather History: Christmas Eve (December 24)

 Christmaseve 

 

1912

A morning snowstorm dumped 11.4", Christmas Eve's biggest snowfall on record.  Snow fell heaviest between 4:00 and 9:00 AM, when it fell at a rate of 1.5" per hour.

1961

The biggest snowfall of the winter began after dark on the 23rd and continued off and on, occasionally mixing with sleet overnight, and then became more steady in the PM hours today, lasting until midnight.  All told, 6.2" of snow accumulated.  Temperatures ranged between the upper 20s and mid-30s. 

1966

Snow and sleet began falling around noon and by the time it ended in the wee hours of Christmas morning, 7.1" had fallen (6.7" fell today).  There were two heavy periods of snowfall, one between noon and 3:00 PM and the second between 6:00 and 9:00 PM.  Temperatures were quite cold, with a high/low of 26°/22°.  More than a foot of snow fell in eastern PA, western New Jersey and throughout the Hudson Valley in New York.

 

Snowy weather -1950s

1975

A high of 23°/low of 16° made this the coldest day of the entire year, 13 degrees colder than average.

1980

An inch of snow fell during the afternoon, triggered by the arrival of an Arctic air mass.  The temperature dropped from 37° in the morning to 20° by midnight (and would bottom out at -1° by sunrise on Christmas morning).

1983

After Arctic air moved in yesterday, today's temperature fell throughout the day and by midnight it was a bone-chilling +6°, a record for the date.  Just under an inch of snow fell to deliver somewhat of a white Christmas.  This was quite a contrast to springlike temperatures experienced a year earlier at Christmas time.

 

Clipart_icicles

1984

Today was the last of fifteen mild days in a row, a stretch in which temperatures were 11 degrees above average.

1985

Today's high of 55° was the mildest reading of the month.

1989

This morning's low of 9° made it the third day in a row that dawned with a low in the single digits (it was 6° yesterday and 8° two days ago).

 

Clipart_gloves

1990

High temperatures over the past four days: 59° on 12/21; 61° on 12/22; 66° on 12/23; and 63° today.   These highs were 20 degrees above average.

1996

Today's high was a very mild, and un-Christmas-like, 63°, tying the record for the date - and more typical of holiday temperatures in Atlanta. 

1998

Two inches of snow fell before daybreak, the first snowfall of the winter.  With a high of 32°/low of 23°, this was only the second colder-than-average day of a very mild December .

 

Christmas 

1999

Today's high of 30°, ten degrees colder than average, was the first high temperature of 32° or colder this winter.

2001

Today's 0.51" of rain was the last precipitation of the year, the driest year since 1970.  The year's total of 35.56" was 14 inches below average.  The past three months had only 4.26" of rain, one-third the normal amount. 

2003

It was a rainy Christmas Eve as 1.42" fell during the daylight hours (5 AM-6 PM), a record for the date.  The day's mean temperature of 51° was the mildest of the month (high of 56°/low of 46°).

2013

For the second day in a row temperatures fell throughout the day.  After falling from 64° to 42° yesterday, today's temperature fell from  42° to 26°.  It was also windy (gusts to 30 mph) so temperatures in the afternoon and evening felt like they were in the low and mid-teens.

2014

It was a rainy day (0.80" fell), the fifth gloomy day in a row.  The mild high of 58° was reached at 9:00 PM.

2015

It was an extraordinarily mild day, with a record high of 72°, which followed a record-warm low of 63° (the warmest low temperature ever recorded in December.)  This low temperature was the same as the previous record high for the date.  The day's mean temperature was 33 degrees above average.  These springlike conditions came just two years after a high/low of 71°/62° on Dec. 22.

 

Clipart_tropical_santa

 

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Today in New York Weather History: December 23

 

1883

It was a frigid, frigid day with a high/low of just 10°/-1°.

1896

One week after a snowfall of seven inches, six inches fell beginning last night and continuing through this morning, followed by another round during the evening as an Arctic front moved through.  What was curious about this snowfall was the fact that it had a very low water content (0.25" was measured) despite temperatures that were 32° or above last night through daybreak today, and rain was mixed with the snow at times.

1930

The biggest snowfall of the winter, 3.9", began this afternoon and continued through dusk on the 24th, providing a mantle of white for Christmas Day.

 

Weather_classic_snowflake

1959

Today's high/low of 23°/9° (eighteen degrees below average) made this the coldest day of the winter of 1959-60.

1963

Snow began falling shortly before 3:00 PM and by midnight six inches had accumulated, with 0.3" added in the wee hours of 12/24.  The temperature didn't vary much as the high/low was 32°/28°. 

1989

The morning low of 6°, twenty-three degrees below average, was the coldest reading of the month and the entire year.  With today's frigid temperatures, 1989 became the year with the most days with mean temperatures 10 degrees above or below average (in the years since 1960; later broken in 2015).

Clipart_tongue_frozen_on_pole

1990

It was a record-setting day as the high reached 66° after a low of 57° - a staggering 28 degrees above average - quite a change from a year ago!

1998

This was the first day since Nov. 22 to have a colder than average mean temperature.  It was also the first day this winter completely below freezing.  Today's high/low of 29°/18° was in sharp contrast to the 55°/42° averaged in the first three weeks of the month.

1999

Somewhat similar to this date last year, today was the twenty-first day in a row with above average temperatures.  Temperatures were seven degrees above the norm during this three-week span.

2004

A strong cold front blew through during the afternoon, producing thunderstorms with 40-50 mph wind gusts.  These storms caused extensive airport delays.  My flight to Pittsburgh, where I was going to visit my mother for Christmas, was cancelled (I rescheduled for the next morning).  Today's high of 59° came just three days after a morning low of 11°, the month's temperature extremes.  

 

Clipart_thunderstorm3 

2015

Eleven years after my flight home to Pittsburgh was cancelled due to inclement weather, it happened again!  (This time, however, I couldn't get a flight until Christmas Day so I took Amtrak.)  1.55" of rain was measured, falling just 0.07" short of setting a new record.  Most of the rain fell between 3:00 and 9:00 PM.  Besides being rainy it was also mild, with a high of 64°.

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Today in New York Weather History: December 22

 

1904

This was the last day of a two-week period with unseasonably cold weather.  The average high/low of 32°/21° was ten degrees below average.  Eight of the days had highs that were 32° or colder.  And there were snowfalls of seven inches and six inches.

1955

A snowfall of 2.7" during the afternoon was produced from 0.15" of liquid, which was the most to fall during what would be the driest December on record (0.25" of precipitation).  Today's amount was the most to fall in nearly five weeks (since 11/20, when 0.37" of rain/snow fell).

1959

Snow that began late in the afternoon yesterday continued thru 9:00 AM today, adding 10.3" to yesterday's 3.4" for a total accumulation of 13.7".  (By contrast, LaGuardia Airport picked up just 5.6".)  Snow fell heaviest between 1-6:00 AM when six inches accumulated.  The day's temperatures were well below average, with a high/low of 28°/17°.

 

Snowy weather -1950s 

1970

The first one-inch snowfall of winter fell between mid-morning thru early afternoon, accumulating 1.8" (the first measurable snow of the winter fell one week earlier on 12/15).  It was also a cold day, with a high/low of 32°/23°.

 

Clipart_snowcloud

1975

Very similar to 1970, light snow fell throughout the morning and continued until mid-afternoon, accumulating 1.8".  This was the first measurable snow of the winter.  And at 32°/24°, the day's high/low was nearly identical to 1970's as well. 

1983

The first snowfall of the winter fell in the pre-dawn hours, but after 0.6" accumulated it was quickly washed away by heavy rain (about two inches).  The temperature rose steadily from 31° to 53°. 

1989

In the midst of a frigid December (second coldest on record), today's high of 18°/low of 8° was not only the coldest day of the month - but of the entire year.

 

Clipart_coldweather 

1990

After a very mild low of 58° (twenty-eight degrees above average!), the afternoon high inched up by only three degrees.

1997

The 0.14" of cold rain that fell this evening after 8:00 PM was the first precipitation to fall on this date since 1983.

1998

The temperature dropped from a record high of 63° to 22° by midnight.  This was the first subfreezing temperature of the season, the latest date for this occurrence on record, breaking the previous 1948 record by eleven days.  (Central Park was frost-free for nine months.)  Between Nov. 29 and today temperatures were 11 degrees above average.

 

Down_arrow_blue

2000

Today was the first of thirteen days in a row with high temperatures of 32° or colder - one of New York's longest cold streaks on record.  During mid-afternoon a quick burst of snow amounted to 0.8".

2008

A high/low of 27°/13° made this the coldest day of the month.  (Two days later the temperature would jump into the upper 50s.)

2010

High temperatures over the past six days exhibited a pattern that only a "numbers" geek could appreciate: 36°-36°-37°-37°-38°-38° (today).  They were all colder than average (low 40s). And today and yesterday had the same high as well as low (38°/28°), making this the tenth pair with the same high/low this year, tying 1931 for the most in one year.

 

Chart - back to back days_same high low
2012

Just two degrees separated today's high (38°) and low (36°).  It was a very blustery day, with 30-40 mph wind gusts, so the wind chill in the 20s gave the air a Christmas-like feel.  Still,the day was one degree above average, making it the 16th day in a row with an above average reading.  This was also the 15th day this year with a low temperature of 36°, the most of any daily minimum. 

 

Christmas_chill

2013

On the first full day of winter today's high, despite mostly overcast skies, soared to 71° - eight degrees above the previous record for the date.  This was just the ninth time a 70-degree reading was reported in December (the eighth time was in 2006).  And the day's low of 61° was milder than the warmest high temperature of five Decembers since 2000.  Overall, the day's mean temperature was 30 degrees above average.

 

Clipart_metlingsnowman3

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