How is the Weather in New York in December?

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




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).


Average December Temperatures NYC


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). 


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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.  


December Sunshine


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.


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A couple of heavy sweaters and at least one medium-weight jacket or coat may suffice during the early part of this month.  


What to Wear in NYC in December


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.

Click here for more advice on how to dress in NYC during the winter.


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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 above) 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.  

For a full list of November activities including the Top 10 events, free events, family-friendly activities, things to do at night and more, check our extensive post on Things to do in November.

And 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.


New York Tourist Discount Passes

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Written by Meteorologist Fred Pickhardt