When does it snow in New York? Below are the average snowfall amounts in New York state. Each location has its own average snowfall, but they are not necessarily the same as the average for the whole state. You can also use this data to prepare for a snowstorm and see when it snowed in the past. The average snowfall amount in New York state can be confusing. In order to help you prepare for snow, we have compiled this article with the latest information about winter weather.
Lake effect snowfall
Lake effect snowfall in December is an unusual weather phenomenon that occurs when cold winter air moves over warm water. While the event is rare, it can be extremely cold, and can even reach 40 inches in some areas. This phenomenon is largely due to the presence of warm water in the Great Lakes, which helps to provide additional vapor to the atmosphere. This, in turn, contributes to the formation of snow.
The second largest lake effect snow in December in New York is centered around the Syracuse, New York region, which was brought about by a northwesterly wind flow from Lake Ontario. At the Hancock International Airport, Syracuse saw 44.3 inches in five days, and a total of 43.2 inches over the four days. The region’s weather station reported 97 consecutive hours of snowfall, including a 23-hour stretch. Other areas of the city saw accumulations of up to 58.2 inches.
Forecasts for lake effect snow rely heavily on wind direction. A heavy snowfall in one area can be followed by sunny skies miles away. This is particularly common in Buffalo and Rochester, which are situated on the shores of the Great Lakes. The National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Mitchell, in Buffalo, says Buffalo is more likely to experience less intense bands of lake effect snow, but it can still receive heavy snowfall.
Another lake effect snowstorm impacted the Buffalo and Niagara areas in the middle of December. The cold front from the southwest crossed the lower lakes on December 23rd, signaling the advance of colder air from the northern Plains. In the central Ontario region, an arctic vortex spun around and allowed cold air to stay in place. The resulting instability helped generate the extra snowfall. The cold air was able to settle in the lower layers of the atmosphere, and the weather system was able to make it last longer.
While the rest of the country is celebrating the holidays, temperatures in New York fluctuate drastically, with the lows in December hovering around -1deg C and the highs around 6deg C. Snowfall is extremely likely and there are nine days of rain, but that doesn’t mean that winter is over for New Yorkers. December’s temperatures are mild enough to stay outside all day without overheating. The gradual regression of summer weather will prepare the city for the harsh winter times.
The average monthly temperature in December is -7.5 degrees C (17.6 degrees F), but temperatures can also drop to as low as 17 deg C (63 deg F). The coldest days are the middle of December, and highs can be over 100 degrees, although it can feel much colder than that. The average wind speed in December is about 12 kph (8 mph).
Although New York has four distinct seasons, December is the coldest and windiest month. The Appalachian Mountains and offshore winds help prevent temperatures from getting too cold. And the city’s skyscrapers and tall buildings help keep the heat in. In addition, the city’s high population density makes it relatively wind-free. This means that temperatures in December can be moderate. However, you should take note of the average temperature range and make adjustments based on it.
Sunlight in December is limited to 4.9 hours per day, so you’ll likely be outside most of the day, but that’s not enough to enjoy the beach. The sea temperature is only 12.5 degC (54 degF), so swimming in the water is not recommended. Overall, temperatures in December in New York are cool, ranging from 3.8 to 39 degrees F. Even if the sun shines every day, the city’s humidity levels remain high.
Preparation for a snowstorm
As the cold snap approaches, New York City is preparing for another blizzard. The city has declared a state of emergency and has closed roads to all but essential workers. The city is expecting up to 24 inches of snow, the deepest amount since January 2016, when Winter Storm Jonas dumped 27 inches of snow in the Big Apple. The National Weather Service is predicting that the city could receive up to two feet of snow by Tuesday night, and a wind chill of five to 10 below zero.
To prepare for the snowstorm, drivers should check the oil, fuel, and antifreeze levels in their cars. Moreover, drivers should pack a snow shovel, jumper cables, and extra windshield washer fluid. They should also have flashlights and a jack, as well as traction materials, a blanket, a first aid kit, and road maps. In addition to these items, motorists should also carry a first aid kit, extra batteries, and blankets to keep them warm and comfortable.
As winter weather becomes more unpredictable, preparing ahead for a winter storm is crucial. Heavy snow and windy conditions can disrupt public services, causing downed trees and power outages for days. In addition to these inconveniences, winter storms can increase the risk of hypothermia, frostbite, and carbon monoxide poisoning. As the cold weather worsens, people may experience heart attacks or become stranded.
Winter weather conditions in New York City usually peak in October and November. The chance of snow is three times greater in December than in January. Additionally, freezing rain is common. Normally, two days will have at least one inch of snow, with a single day accumulating as much as three inches. As of January 2019, the total snowfall in New York City has ranged from a trace of snow to nearly thirty inches. The long-term average is around 7 inches.
Last time it snowed in New York
There are several times in New York City history when it snowed in December. In December 1995, a blizzard dropped more than ten inches of snow. The storm was so powerful that it immobilized the state from West Virginia to Massachusetts. Despite the massive snowfall, the city never woke up to more than a foot of snow. The next time it snowed in December in NYC was in January 2010, when a winter storm dumped over ten inches of snow in the city.
The earliest snowfall in the city was October 29, 2012. At the time, flakes fell a couple of days before Halloween. That snowfall measured 2.9 inches. In February 2021, winter storm Orlena struck the North East and caused thousands of flight cancellations. Other parts of the country experienced a significant amount of snow, including upstate New York, Washington state, northern Idaho, Ohio, and Michigan.
The most recent snowfall in New York City took place on March 21-22, 1967. An intense nor’easter dumped nearly eight inches of snow on the city’s streets and Central Park by midnight. Another one-inch of snow fell overnight. The snowfall, which was larger than average, lasted until the beginning of the Macy’s parade. The temperature reached thirty-two degrees, 20 degrees below average.
While December is not known for bringing a significant snowfall, certain months are notorious for bringing blizzards to the city. But sometimes it arrives earlier than expected. The snowstorm of 2022, which is a potential nor’easter, is expected to arrive on January 28 in New York City. As many as 20 inches of snow could fall in the city, the entire Northeast could see its first ‘bomb cyclone’ blizzard in four years.
Chance of snowfall in December
While the Eastern United States has seen a few snowy days this season, December is usually the month that brings the most wintry intrigue. An easterly QBO and weak stratospheric polar vortex are likely to create high latitude blocking that dislodges cold Canadian air southward. The result will be colder-than-average temperatures for the Northeast. Here are some winter weather tips:
While the last white Christmas in New York City was in 2009, the city has been impacted by climate change. That has not completely eliminated the chance of snow. On Christmas Eve, the forecast in New York is for cloudy skies and a low chance of snow. However, if you do happen to be in the city on that special day, you should expect one to three inches of snow. Whether you’re a New Yorker or a tourist, it’s important to plan ahead to avoid the rush of the holiday season.
While New York City typically has mild winter temperatures, there is a very slim chance of snow in the southern Plains. The odds of getting a white Christmas are even lower in the Ozarks, which are much closer to the Gulf of Mexico. The difference is not so much the weather, but the geography and elevation. For instance, cities near the coast often receive rain and snow in December, while high elevations in the Cascades and Rockies get more than their fair share of snowfall.
In New York, temperatures are usually mild at the beginning of the month but will soon plummet. The average temperature will drop below freezing, making winter clothing essential. In fact, the average temperature in New York in December is 6.7degC, but you’ll want to bring along some warm clothes, including hats and gloves. Despite the low temperatures, there’s still a chance of snowfall on three days in the month.