Ice Feed

Today in New York Weather History: January 7




In the years since 1950, Jan. 7 is the date most likely to have had a snowfall of an inch or more in Central Park.  It's happened in twelve winters (most recently in 2022).  The second and third most likely dates to have one-inch+ snowfalls are Feb. 14 (in nine years) and Jan. 26 (in eight years).


1874 (Wednesday)

The 3.14" of rain that fell today would be the greatest daily rainfall in January for more than 100 years (until 1979).  It was also a mild day, with a high of 56°.

1945 (Sunday)

The two inches of snow that fell today, from mid-morning thru mid-afternoon, was the first time an inch or more of snow fell on Jan. 7.  (Almost all of the other dates between Dec. 1 and March 31 had their first snowfalls of an inch+ in the 19th century.)  Temperatures were quite cold, but rose very slowly through the day, from 17° to 25° shortly before midnight. 

1978 (Saturday)

With a high/low of  36°/35°, this is just one of a handful of days to have a one-degree difference between the high and low. 

1981 (Wednesday)

Five inches of snow fell overnight.  This accounted for almost all of the month's precipitation of 0.58" - the driest January on record (and, fascinatingly, the same amount that was reported in December).




1992 (Tuesday)

This was the sixth day in a row in which the mean temperature was 10 degrees or more above average.

1994 (Friday)

It was a frustrating day for snow lovers.  Although today's high was only 28°, most of the 0.53" of precipitation that fell came down as freezing rain (0.9" of sleet/snow was measured at Central Park.)  This was the worst ice storm in New York since December 1974.  (Fortunately, the City's wires for electricity, telephones and cable TV are largely underground.)  Freezing rain and sleet were an unusually common occurrence this winter, and fell on nineteen days between January 3 and March 10.




1996 (Sunday)

A crippling blizzard began in the afternoon and continued until noon the following day.  It immobilized an area from West Virginia through Massachusetts, and dumped 20.2" on Central Park, which, at the time, was New York's third greatest snowfall (13.6" fell today, and 6.6" the next day - both records for the date).  At one point, five inches fell between 5-7 PM.  Besides the snow and wind, it was also quite cold, with a high/low of 22°/12°.  (For a more in-depth account of the storm click here.)




2002 (Monday)

The first snow of the winter fell today, a light snow that accumulated 0.5" during the afternoon.  This was the fourth winter of the past eight in which the first measurable snow didn't occur until January (average date is Dec. 14).      

2008 (Monday)

For the third year of the past four, the year's first reading of 60° or milder happened in the first week of the year, a month earlier than average.  (The one year of the four that didn't have its first 60+ in the first week of January, 2006, had it happen on 1/9.)

2014 (Tuesday)

The morning low of +4°, the coldest reading in New York in 10 years, was fifty-one degrees colder than the temperature 24 hours earlier.  Wind chill values were in the -10° to -20° range.  And although the day's official high of 19° was reached just after midnight, the temperature in the afternoon was in the single digits, thirty degrees colder than average.




2017 (Saturday)

It was a very wintry day as snow fell from 10 AM to 8 PM, accumulating 5.1", with the temperature hovering around 20°.


Sheridan square jan 7 2017


2018 (Sunday)

Today, with a frigid high/low of 18°/5°, was the thirteenth day in a row with a high below 32°.  This tied it with another 13-day streak during the winter of of 2001 for second longest (in the years since 1900).  This winter's streak, however, had much colder temperatures, with an average high of 22°/13° (sixteen degrees below average) versus 30°/19° for the 2001 streak (which also started in December and ended in January). 


13-day cold streaks


2022 (Friday)

A quick-moving winter storm produced 5.8" of snow, most of it falling before sunrise.  This was the winter's  first snowfall of one-inch or more, coming about two weeks later than the average date of this occurrence.  Curiously, although Central Park and LaGuardia Airport (which are just seven miles apart) had similar amounts of liquid precipitation (0.38" and 0.33", respectively), CPK's accumulation of snow was 3.9" less than LGA's (9.7"). 

With today’s snowfall, the month’s precipitation for the first week of January reached 1.44”, which is .05” more than what fell in all of December.









Today in New York Weather History: January 3


1923 (Wednesday)

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

1974 (Thursday)

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


1981 (Saturday)

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).   

1987 (Saturday)

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°.  




1997 (Friday)

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

1999 (Sunday)

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



2000 (Monday)

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.

2001 (Wednesday)

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




2008 (Thursday)

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.

2013 (Thursday)

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.) 




2014 (Friday)

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.  






Today in New York Weather History: December 19


1910 (Monday)

Today was the first day this month with a low temperature above 32°.

1919 (Friday)

Today's 1.9" of snow brought the season's snowfall to 4.0", which exceeded last winter's total of 3.8" (the least snowy winter until 1973).  Besides the snow it was also very cold, with a high/low of 20°/10° - but this was bearable compared to yesterday's 11°/-1°.




1945 (Wednesday)

An afternoon/nighttime snowstorm dropped 8.3" (all but 0.3" fell today).  This would be the biggest snowfall of the winter (and since March 1941).  Besides the snow, temperatures were also quite cold, with a high/low of just 23°/20° (fifteen degrees below average).

1948 (Sunday)

One year after the huge 26.4" snowstorm of Dec. 26, another formidable snowstorm crippled the City with 16.0".  At the time, this was the shortest time between major snowstorms.  Since then there have been seven pairs of major snowstorms (of a foot or more) that have occurred with less than 12 months in between (the shortest hiatus being four weeks, in January and February 1978.) 

1973 (Wednesday)

For the second day in a row the high/low was the same frigid 25°/17°, the coldest days of the month.  The sub-freezing cold prevented the layer of thick ice from the ice storm of 12/16-17 from melting quickly.

1979 (Wednesday)

3.5" of snow fell, the first measurable snowfall of the winter.  It would be the winter's largest accumulation until mid-March.  Today was also the coldest day of the month, with a high of 26° after a low of 20°.




1981 (Saturday)

Today was the first day of the winter that had temperatures completely below freezing, with a high of 28°/low of 21°.  

1985 (Thursday)

With a high of 30°, today was the first day of the winter with a maximum temperature of 32° or colder.

1991 (Thursday)

With a high/low of 27°/13°, today was the first day of the winter completely below freezing.

1995 (Tuesday)

Beginning today and continuing into tomorrow Central Park had its biggest December snowfall since 1960 as 7.7" fell (10-12" had been predicted).  Less than 10 miles away, LaGuardia Airport was buried by 14.9" (8.0" today, 6.9" tomorrow).




2004 (Sunday)

After an Arctic front moved through late in the afternoon the temperature plunged from 47° to 21° by midnight.  The season's first measurable snow fell between 9 PM-3 AM, but it was just 0.6".  

2008 (Friday)

Four inches of wet snow fell (an additional 0.5" fell overnight).  This would be the biggest snowfall of the winter until March 1-2, when 8.3" fell. 

2009 (Saturday)

The first snowfall of the winter was a snowstorm that moved in late in the afternoon.  By the time it ended at around 4 AM on Sunday, 10.9" had piled up.  Long Island received considerably more, with parts of Suffolk County buried by more than 20". (Photo taken in the NYC suburb of Bronxville.)




2015 (Saturday)

Although today had the chilliest mean temperature since the end of March, the high/low of 40°/35° was still two degrees above average.  This ended a nine-day streak in which the mean temperature was ten degrees or more above average.  The last time there was a streak of this many days was in January 2002.     

2019 (Thursday)

With a high/low of 25°/16° (fourteen degrees colder than average) today was the first day this winter with a high of 32° or colder.  This was close to the average date of this occurrence, but it was the latest date since the winter of 2015-16 when it didn't occur until Jan. 5.  Wind chills during the morning were in the single digits.  This would be the coldest day of the winter of 2019-20 - the first winter since 2005-06 to have its coldest day occur in December.

2020 (Saturday)

Today and the previous three days had very similar, cold temperatures: 31°/24° (on 12/16); 33°/24°; 32°/24°; and 32°/20° (today).  These four days were nine degrees below average.  Coincidentally, last December had a an equally cold four-day period at about the same time (Dec. 18-21), with an average high/low of 32°/21°.







Today in New York Weather History: December 16


1903 (Wednesday)

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.

1910 (Friday)

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

1958 (Tuesday)

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.

1962 (Sunday)

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.

1973 (Sunday)

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 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 range was very narrow, between 27° and 30°.




1974 (Monday)

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

1997 (Tuesday)

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




2001 (Sunday)

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.) 

2005 (Friday)

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

2007 (Sunday)

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.  

2008 (Tuesday)

Overnight the temperature plunged from 62° at 11 PM (on 12/15) to 37° at 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°.)




2015 (Wednesday)

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.

2016 (Friday)

What a difference a year makes!  This morning's low of 17° was the 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°). 

2018 (Sunday)

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.

2020 (Wednesday)

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 more inches).  There were also periods of heavy sleet between 9 PM and 3 AM.  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











Today in New York Weather History: December 4


1906 (Tuesday)

Today's high/low was only 26°/13°.  This compares to the average high/low in the first week of December of 48°/33°.  Only Christmas Eve would see colder readings this month (20°/12°)

1911 (Monday)

A snowfall of seven inches ended up being the biggest snowfall of the winter.  The day, with a high/low of 33°/19°, would also be the coldest day of the month.

1927 (Sunday)

A major sleet storm, that amounted to a 2.1" accumulation of ice pellets, began around lunchtime.  Temperatures were mostly in the mid-twenties, and howling winds gusted close to 40 mph, producing wind chills in the single digits.  In the few hours leading to midnight the temperature approached the freezing mark and rain mixed with the sleet.  In total, 1.07" of liquid precipitation was measured.    




1929 (Wednesday)

This was the sixth, and last, day of an early Arctic outbreak.  The average high/low of 30°/20° was sixteen degrees below average. 

1957 (Wednesday)

Snow that started falling late last night continued overnight, and after a five-hour break resumed later in the morning, for a total accumulation 8.0".  The flakes came down heaviest between 11 AM and 2 PM, when they fell at a rate of an inch per hour.  This was the most snow to fall so early in the season since 1938, when 8.8" piled up on Nov. 24-25.  And it was the first of six snowfalls of four inches or more this winter.




1982 (Saturday)

Today's high of 72° set a record that held until 1998.




1998 (Friday)

More typical of late May, today's high of 74°, twenty-seven degrees above average, was a new record for the date.  (And four days later the high would reach 75°, another record.)

2002 (Wednesday)

Today's high of 32° (after a low of 20°) made this the first day of the winter with a maximum temperature of 32° or colder, two weeks earlier than average.

2005 (Sunday)

The first measurable snow of the winter fell on this Sunday morning as 2.5" accumulated between 3-9 AM.  Then it changed to a light drizzle for a few hours before ending during lunchtime. 

2019 (Wednesday)

With a high/low of 39°/32° this was the fourth day in a row in which the temperature never got out of the 30s.  This was the longest such streak since one of five days in January 1998.


Stuck in a rut