Averages for New York in December

What's the Weather Like in New York in December?

Temperature

Along with January and February, December is one of the coldest months of the year for New York, USA. During this month, the average temperature for the city begins at 5°C, created by highs of 9°C during the daytime and lows of 1°C after dark, and drops down to 1.5°C, created by highs of 5°C during the daytime and lows of -2°C after dark, by the end of the month. This ...

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  • Temperature Temperature 9°C 48°F
  • High Temperature Holiday Weather 13°C 56°F
  • Low Temperature Holiday Weather 4°C 40°F
  • Sunshine Hours Sunshine Hours 6 hrs
  • Rainfall Rainfall 85 mm
  • Rainfall days Rainfall days 12 days
  • Sea Temperature Sea Temperature 14°C 57°F

What's the Weather Like in New York in December?

Temperature

Along with January and February, December is one of the coldest months of the year for New YorkUSA. During this month, the average temperature for the city begins at 5°C, created by highs of 9°C during the daytime and lows of 1°C after dark, and drops down to 1.5°C, created by highs of 5°C during the daytime and lows of -2°C after dark, by the end of the month. This makes the first week of December the best time to visit New York if you want to visit the city when temperatures are highest.

Even though it only happens on an average of 10% of days, temperatures have been known to rise above 15°C and fall below -9°C in New York in December. The hottest temperature which has ever been registered in the city in December is 24°C, whilst the coldest temperature which has ever been recorded here during this month is -13°C.

Since the weather is very cold in New York in December, this month is best reserved for travellers who plan on spending most of their time indoors or holidaymakers who don't mind getting wrapped up to go outside. If you plan on spending December in New York, make sure you pack lots of winter clothing, such as jeans, jumpers, coats, hats, scarves and gloves, to ensure you stay warm enough during your holiday. On the other hand, if you hate the cold, forget about visiting the big apple in December and plan your trip for July instead, which tends to be the hottest month of the year for the city.

Rain

Throughout December, New York is subject to an average of 87mm/3 inches of rainfall which is spread out between 11 rainy days and five snowy days – that's a tiny increase compared to November. With precipitation occurring on more than 1/3 of days across the month, you're almost guaranteed to get some rainfall during your holiday, so be prepared and take an umbrella with you. The probability of rainfall making an appearance during your holiday in December increases as the month develops, starting off at 42% on December 1st and rising up to 46% by December 31st. The most common types of precipitation you can expect to see during your holiday in New York in December are light rain (which occurs on 32% of days with precipitation), light snow (24%), moderate rain (21%) and moderate snow (9%).

Snowfall

The likelihood of snowfall making an appearance also increases as the month develops, starting off at 10% on December 1st and rising up to 22% by December 31st. This makes the final week of December the best time to visit New York if you want to experience snowfall.

Average Sunshine Hours

During an average December, New York boasts five hours of sunshine each day – that's one hour less every day compared to the previous month – along with median cloud coverage ranging from 76% (partly cloudy) at the beginning of the month, rising up to 78% (partly cloudy) by December 9th and dropping down to 77% (partly cloudy) by December 31st. On an average day, the sky is clear/mostly clear 31% of the time, partly cloudy 12% and mostly cloudy/overcast 49%.

Humidity

The relative humidity for New York in December ranges from 49% (comfortable) to 82% (humid), rarely falling below 32% (comfortable) or reaching as high as 100% (very humid). The air tends to be at its driest around December 12th, when the relative humidity falls below 57% (mildly humid) three days out of four, whilst the air is at its most humid around December 1st, when it rises above 70% (humid) three days out of four.

Wind

Compared to the rest of the year, December is quite a windy month for New York. At this time of year, typical wind speeds range between 0 m/s (calm) and 7 m/s (moderate breeze), rarely rising above 11 m/s (strong breeze). The highest average wind speed of 4 m/s (gentle breeze) happens around December 31st, when the average daily maximum is 7 m/s, whilst the lowest average wind speed of 4 m/s happens around December 2nd, when the average daily maximum is 7 m/s.

New York Hotels in December

Situated in the heart of downtown New York, the Best Western Plus President Hotel at Times Square is perfect for travellers who want to explore the city's attractions, thanks to its central location. Here guests can choose between 334 non-smoking guest rooms, 46 suites and two penthouse suites. All the guestrooms come complete with flat-screen satellite TV, free WiFi access, coffee making facilities and in room safe. The suites come with all that plus air conditioning, balcony and sofa bed for an extra guest. Onsite services and facilities include fitness centre, Saigon 48 restaurant which serves Vietnamese cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Aoki restaurant which serves Japanese food for lunch and dinner and the Primary Bar & Lounge which offers breakfast in the morning and drinks throughout the rest of the day.

Morgans New York Hotel is located on Madison Avenue, just steps away from Macy's Herald Square, Grand Central Station and the Morgan Library Museum, as well as a plethora of bars, restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques. Accommodation comes in the form of standard and superior guest rooms, one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites, lofts and penthouses. The guestrooms feature free WiFi access, flat-screen HD TV and private bathroom with Malin+Goetz bath amenities.

The lofts and suites come with the same facilities but offer more space, whilst the penthouses are even larger and also feature balconies. Here guests can enjoy complimentary continental breakfast served daily with fresh fruit, homemade granola, New York bagels, pastries and yogurt, 24-hour fitness centre, guest lounge with TVs and complimentary newspapers.

The Marmara Manhattan is found in a historically-rich and residential neighbourhood, close to many of the city's top cultural attractions, including museums, art galleries and Central Park. Elegantly designed, the hotel is spread out over 32 storeys and features an Urban New York Style. Accommodation is provided in the form of 109 suites, divided between studios, one-, two-, three-bedroom apartments and a penthouse.

Each of the apartments comes with a kitchenette with microwave, oven, hob, sink, fridge and table, queen-sized bed and full bathroom with complimentary facilities. The penthouse occupies the entire top floor and features a wrap-around terrace, bedroom, bathroom, living room, and kitchen. There's an onsite 24-hour gym with treadmill, Stairmaster, exercise bikes and weights and although there are no dining facilities within the hotel, there is a wealth of bakeries, coffee shops, bars and restaurants only a walk away.

For something more budget-friendly, try Park 79 Hotel. Found in a quiet part of Upper West Side, this Old World boutique hotel is perfect for guests who want to be within easy access of tourist attractions, but also want a peaceful place to sleep. Guests can choose between standard rooms, deluxe rooms and suites, each of which features free Wifi access, 32" flat-screen TV with satellite, safe, air conditioning and private bathroom with complimentary toiletries. Due to the cheap rates, there are no other services or facilities provided within the hotel, but major subway and bus lines are found close by which you can take to open up the wealth of bars, restaurants, nightclubs, theatres, museums, galleries, shops and attractions New York has to offer.

Bars and Restaurants

Satisfy your curry craving by popping into Spices Symphony during your holiday in New York. Opened in 2012, this restaurant serves a selection of dishes made using traditional Indian cooking methods, authentic spices and unusual ingredients to bring a taste of India straight to your table. The menu features classic dishes such as Goan fish curry, chicken tikka masala, lamb seekh kebabs, with vegetarian and vegan options available, too. An Indian-Chinese fusion menu is also offered, with items such as chicken lollipops, butterfly shrimps, salt & pepper prawns and General Tso's chicken. There is an extensive selection of red, white and rose wines which are available to purchase by the bottle, half bottle or glass.

The Dead Rabbit is a multi-storey bar-restaurant which combines Old New York with an Irish-American tradition. On the ground floor you'll find the informal Taproom which serves bottled punch, craft beer, international whiskeys and daily lunch, whilst upstairs you'll find the Parlour which focuses on small dishes, communal punch and 72 innovative cocktails. Brunch is served on weekends 11am-4pm with sliders, burgers, sandwiches, French toast, Irish breakfasts, eggs Benedict, fish and chips and chicken pot pie all on the menu. Lunch offers a more sophisticated selection of bar snacks, salads, sandwiches, pies and fish, whilst dinner offers finger-food, such as crostini, scotch eggs, pork belly sliders and pate.

McSorleys Old Ale House is known as the oldest Irish tavern in New York and was the last of the men-only pubs, only allowing women to enter after being legally forced to in the 70s. Today, this pub has just as much atmosphere as it did 100 years ago and not one piece of memorabilia has been removed from the walls since 1910, which are now covered in newspaper clippings, artwork, Houdini's handcuffs and wishbones from soldiers going off to WW1 who never returned. The menu features Irish pub-grub style food, with hearty burgers, pies and cheeseboards which are served up alongside only two drink options – light or dark beer. This place gets very busy, so be prepared to share your table with other visitors.

Things to do in New York in December

If the weather is cold and wet, seek shelter at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Open Monday to Friday 10am-5pm and Saturday to Sunday 10am-6pm, this museum is home to the Intrepid aircraft carrier, the Enterprise space shuttle, a guided missile submarine and the world's fastest jets. Through displays, interactive-exhibits and a vast collection of groundbreaking aircraft and vessels, this museum teaches visitors all about American innovation and bravery.

Some of the most popular parts of the museum include the Space Shuttle Pavilion, the display of 28 authentically restored aircraft and the Exploreum – an interactive hall which looks at water, space, air and life at sea. There is also the Au Bon Pain café on the Mess Deck which serves snacks, sandwiches and soups, as well as the Museum Gift Shop which sells souvenirs.

The Chrysler Building is one of the most iconic structures in New York, stretching 77 storeys high. Open to the public Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, this building is completely free to enter, although since it is a functioning office building, visitors can only explore the Art Deco lobby. The majority of people visit the building to see the ceiling mural created by Edward Trumbull, which was the largest in the world when completed and features paintings of buildings, aeroplanes and images of the Chrysler assembly line. Even if you don't have time to go inside, the Chrysler Building is a superb structure to see from the outside, especially when the sun is reflecting off it.

New York is in a league of its own when it comes to shopping, and visitors flock to the city in December to make the most of cut-price luxury goods and bargains on offer in the run-up to Christmas. World-renowned department stores such as Bloomingdale's, Barney's and Macy's are hallmarks of the New York shopping scene, and there are countless artisan stores which specialise in jewellery, cosmetics, high-end fashion and antiques. Whatever you've got in mind, you'll be sure to find in the Big Apple. 

For a shopping spree unlike any other, sign up for a shopping tour with the Style Room. Rated as the number one shopping experience in New York by TripAdvisor, these VIP shopping tours are led by a fashion expert and allow you to meet the designers and step inside their studios and showrooms – places which ordinary shoppers aren't usually allowed. Each shopping tour lasts for five hours, covers 4-6 different designer showrooms and allows you to purchase the current season handbags, clothing, jewellery and accessories for much less than they're sold in shops – you'll usually get a discount of 40%-65%.

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