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The Weather in New York in December

Updated: December 22, 2023

This post is our forecast for December weather in New York City, with tips on what to wear and things to do.

As a retired meteorologist turned tour guide, I didn't expect that I would use my experience as a forecaster in my new career in tourism.

But here I am, finding myself answering more weather questions as a blogger than I ever did as a weatherman.

So, here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the weather in NYC in December.

You can find me in our NYC Travel Tips Facebook group answering questions about NYC's weather.


AVERAGE TEMPERATURES

Early in December, the weather can sometimes still be mild with afternoon high temperatures mostly in the upper 40's F (8-9 C).

Average December Temperatures NYC

There are 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).


How Cold Is New York in December?

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). 

So, if you are visiting NYC from a warmer climate, layer up on the flight.


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.

December Sunshine

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.  


Does It Snow in New York in December?

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.

Check out our full post for predicting when it will snow in NYC this winter.

Tips: save money when in NYC with our pay-what-you-like New York Tours, and be sure to read our post comparing the tourist discount passes.


SEASONAL OUTLOOK - December 2023 to February 2024

There is a 73 % chance for normal to above-normal temperatures with near-normal rainfall.

Chart, pie chart

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WHAT TO WEAR IN NYC IN DECEMBER

New York winter can get pretty cold!

We've made a list below of essentials to pack to make sure you're comfortable while visiting New York in December:

Disclosure: While our recommendations are always unbiased, we may receive a small share of sales through some of the links as an Amazon Affiliate below at no cost to you. See the full text.


1. Winter Jacket

A good coat is essential to pack. Something warm like wool or down will keep you comfortable while exploring the outdoors.

A down coat like this one by Orolay will keep you warm on a walking tour


2. Layers

Layers, like long sleeves and sweaters, are good to pack. A variety of them will allow you to dress to your comfort level.

We also recommend a hat, scarf, and gloves. 


3. Boots

A pair of warm boots are recommended since there are a few snow days to be expected.

A pair like these by The North Face will keep you warm and dry.

Pack some comfortable wool socks to pair with them and you'll be ready to walk all day!  


THINGS TO DO IN NEW YORK IN DECEMBER

For a full list of December activities, check our extensive post on things to do in December.

If you are planning on visiting many of NYC's top attractions, then you should consider a tourist discount pass as you could save up to 50% of retail ticket prices to tours, attractions, and restaurants.

Below are just a few highlights of all the things to do in New York in December:

Get more ideas on our full post of things to do in December.

If you are coming at the start or end of the month, be sure to check out our guides for November and January and see our full post on things to do any time of year in NYC for even more ideas. 


Tips from Locals and Previous Travelers

Be sure to check out some of the posts, comments, tips, and suggestions from the members of our NYC Travel Tips Facebook group.

The group is made up of locals, like our tour guides, expats, regular visitors, and newbies to NYC.

People post and respond to questions like in the image above every day.

See you there!

About The Author

Fred Pickhardt

Fred is a marine meteorologist and sailed briefly with American Export Lines in the Far East trade. He has extensive experience in weather analysis, weather forecasting, and forensic weather event reconstructions. Fred founded Ocean Weather Services and currently provides forensic marine weather reports to the maritime industry.
Updated: December 22nd, 2023
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