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Record Breaking Artic Cold
December 26, 2017 - January 8, 2018

Overview

The majority of the central and eastern United States experienced one of the coldest late December through early January periods with record breaking cold temperatures.

Following the passage of a cold front on Christmas Day, arctic high pressure moved into the region. Strong winds combined with temperatures around 10 degrees below normal, made temperatures feel like the single digits and teens.

This cold and arctic airmass remained over the region through the last few days of the year, with high temperatures remaining below the freezing mark.  A reinforcing shot of cold air was ushered in behind a cold front on New Years Eve. The temperature fell to 9°F at midnight, which is the second coldest midnight temperature since 1871 in Central Park. 

Temperatures briefly returned to the upper 20s when a blizzard impacted the region on January 4th.

Average temperatures were 10 to around 25 degrees below normal at times during the arctic outbreak. On several occasions, wind chills were between -10 and -20°F.

Weather Prediction Center (WPC) Maximum and Minimum Temperature Analysis 12/26/17 - 1/7/18
Record Cold

Climate sites set new records with the number of consecutive days with high temperatures below 32°.

 
Record Low Temperatures
 
     
Record Low High Temperatures
 
     
2018 Blizzard
 The Blizzard of January 4, 2018
For a full review visit: https://www.weather.gov/okx/Blizzard_Jan42018
 
 
 Impacts
  • Blizzard conditions occurred on Thursday, January 4, 2018 over Long Island as well as portions of New York City, the Lower Hudson Valley, and southern Connecticut.
    • Snowfall totals ranged from 3 to 7" across portions of interior northeast New Jersey, 6 to 10" across the lower Hudson Valley ,8 to 12" in New York City, and 12 to 16" across Long Island and southern Connecticut.
    • Snowfall rates ranged from 1 to 2 inches per hour with locally 3 inches per hour at times. This resulted in near whiteout conditions at times when combined with strong gusty winds 35 mph to 55 mph.
    • Thundersnow was observed across portions of Long Island and southern Connecticut.
  • Approximately 4,400 flights were cancelled on Thursday, January 4th, many at Kennedy, Newark, LaGuardia. Nearly 900 were also cancelled the day after the blizzard.
  • Utility companies across the east coast reported nearly 80,000 homes and businesses were without power (CBSNews).
  • There were system-wide delays and cancellations on the Long Island Railroad and numerous delays Metro North Railroad.
  • A jackknifed tractor trailer shut down Interstate 95 southbound in Darien Connectitcut. Numerous other accidents across the Tri-State area.