December 2011 was exceptionally warm for New York City. In fact, this was the city’s 5th warmest December on record. The average high temperature for the month was 43.3°F. That is 5.3°F above normal.
The winter solstice arrived on December 22nd with a balmy high temperature of 58°F. The normal high for that day is 41°F.
In terms of rainfall, the city finished exactly average with 4.0 inches of rain. The real precipitation story, however, was snowfall … or more accurately, the lack of it. We normally see 4.6 inches of snow by the end of December, but this year there was none. This is a huge departure from the same time period last year, when the city received 20.1 inches of snow. What a difference a year can bring!