This post covers December weather in New York City, with tips on what to wear and things to do. December can still be a relatively mild month for temperatures as well as for snowfall. Since December brings lots of outdoor activities, such as visiting Christmas markets, ice skating, or checking out department store light displays, you will still want to pack warmly, so that you can be comfortable in any climate. Be sure to check out our post on things to do for Christmas in New York.
So, how is the weather in New York in December? Well, early in December the weather can sometimes still be mild with afternoon high temperatures mostly in the upper 40’s f (8-9 C) with 2-3 days likely reaching into the upper 50’s f or even to the lower 60’s f (about 15-16 C). Morning lows during early December tend to be mostly in the mid to upper 30’s f (2-3 C). As the month progresses, the afternoon temperatures fall into the upper 30’s f (3-4 C) while early morning lows dip into the upper 20’s f (-2 to -3 C). On a few of the colder nights and mornings, the temperature will dip down into the mid-teens (-9 to -10 C).
With about 18 days this month offering either sunny or at least partly sunny skies December is still a great time to visit the Big Apple. About 10 days will have some precipitation but only about 3 days, on average, record significant amounts of 0.5 inches (13 mm) or more. Snow can occur at times with 2-3 days normally seeing some snow, however, only 1 day, on average, will receive snowfalls of 1 inch (2.5 cm) or more. Heavier snowfalls of 3 inches (7.6 cm) or more occur only on about one day every other year. (the image to the right was taken on December 12th, 2013 in front of the New York Public Library Main Branch Building in Midtown Manhattan. Participants from Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Australia, Netherlands, Turkey and California).
A couple of heavy sweaters and at least one medium-weight jacket or coat may suffice during the early part of this month. However, as the month progresses, more winter attire will be required, including a heavier jacket or coat with a warm hat and gloves. Warm boots may also be a good idea for any rain or snow days.
The holidays are always a magical time of year, but there is something extra special about spending Christmas in New York. The city is absolutely at its best and brightest, and there is no shortage of festive activities. Starting around December 5th you should join us for our Holiday Lights Tour (video below) as Midtown Manhattan lights up like no other place in the world! Or, take a self guided tour of the holiday home lights in Brooklyn’s Dyker Heights.
Written by Meterologist Fred Pickhardt