December 31 Weather History

...1862... The Battle of Stone's River took place in Tennessee. The Confederates took advantage of early morning fog to attack the Union right, achieving an initial success.

...1901... A wind gust of 57 miles per hour was recorded at Newport, Rhode Island, setting the record for the date.

...1917... The temperature at Newport, Rhode Island plunged to 5 degrees below zero, breaking the record of 4 degrees set in 1909.  The temperature at Lewisburg WV plunged to 37 degrees below zero to set a state record.

...1929... Greenland Ranch, in Death Valley, California, went the entire year without measurable precipitation.

...1933... A 24 hour rainfall of 7.36 inches set the stage for the worst flood in Los Angeles history. Flooding claimed 44 lives.

...1941... Snow which began on New Year's Eve became a major blizzard on New Year's Day, burying Des Moines IA under 19.8 inches of snow in 24 hours, an all-time record for that location.

...1947... A late afternoon tornado touched down 10 miles north of Shreveport LA, and dissipated south of El Dorado AR. The tornado, as much as 400 yards in width, killed 18 persons. It damaged or destroyed two thirds of the structures at Cotton Valley LA.

...1962... Perhaps the worst blizzard in the history of the state of Maine finally came to an end. The storm produced 40 inches in 24 hours at Orono, and a total of 46 inches at Ripogenus Dam. Gale force winds produced snow drifts twenty feet high around Bangor. A disastrous ice storm was over Georgia and South Carolina. It ravaged the two states for days causing more than seven million dollars damage.

...1963... A snowstorm struck the Deep South. Meridian MS received 15 inches of snow, 10.5 inches blanketed Bay St Louis MS, and 4.5 inches fell at New Orleans LA. Freezing temperatures then prevailed for New Year's Day.

...1983... December 1983 was the coldest ever recorded in some southern cities, including Little Rock, Arkansas and San Antonio, Texas. On Christmas day alone during this month, record low temperatures were set in about 125 cities across the country.

...1984... The average temperature for Huntsville, Alabama was 51.8 degrees for the month of December. This made it the warmest December on record for Huntsville. The previous record was 50.5 degrees set in 1971. -This was the wettest December on record for Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The total monthly rainfall for December was 8.14 inches, shattering the previous record of 5.35 inches set in 1892.

...1987... Torrential rains caused extensive flash flooding over eastern sections of the island of Ohau in Hawaii, resulting in many rock and mud slides. Rainfall totals ranged up to 22.89 inches in a 24 hour period, and property damage was estimated at 35 million dollars. Strong winds continued to usher arctic cold into the north central U.S. The temperature at Alexandria MN remained below zero through the day, and Jamestown ND reported a wind chill reading of 58 degrees below zero. Gales lashed the Great Lakes, with wind gusts to 54 mph reported at Lansing MI.

...1988... Warm and wet weather prevailed in the southeastern U.S. Six cities in Florida reported record high temperatures for the date. Thunderstorms produced locally heavy rains from the Lower Mississippi Valley to the Southern Atlantic Coast.

...1989... The year and decade ended on a soggy note in the eastern U.S. Thunderstorm rains pushed precipitation totals for the year to 88.32 inches at Baton Rouge, and to 75.37 inches at Huntsville AL, establishing all-time records for those two locations. Dry weather continued in California. Sacramento and San Francisco finished the month without any rain or snow, and Santa Maria reported their driest year of record with just 3.30 inches of precipitation.

...1990... 1133 tornadoes touched down in the U.S. during the past year to set a new all-time yearly record for number of tornadoes.

...1991... This year was by far the wettest year on record for Shreveport, Louisiana. 81.99 inches of rain was recorded at the National Weather Service Office at the Regional Airport. The old record was 67.23 inches set in 1957. -Valdez, Alaska recorded 137.1 inches of snow for the month. This set a new all-time record for snowfall in December. The old record was 123.3 inches set back in 1989. Also, the 137.1 inches was 72.9 inches above normal -- how about that.

...1992... Wenatchee, Washington increased its snow cover to 26 inches as as 6 inches of new snow fell on this day. The 26 inch snow cover set a new record for the location. The previous record was 24 inches on February 11, 1969. -1992 set a new record for the number of tornadoes for any year. 1297 twisters cut paths across the U.S.

...1998... The Blue Hill Observatory in Milton, Massachusetts recorded 71.00 inches of rain for the year. This set a new record for yearly rainfall, breaking the previous record set only two years prior in 1996

...1999... 1999 marks the first year since record keeping began in 1872 that Cheyenne, Wyoming did not record a temperature reading zero or below. The lowest temperature recorded was one degree above zero on November 24th. -Boston, Massachusetts officially recorded no snow for the month of December 1999 -- the first time this has ever occurred. Both Concord, New Hampshire and Portland, Maine recorded only a trace of snow for the month -- unprecedented since records began.

...2000... Marquette, Michigan recorded 89.5 inches of snow for the month -- an all-time December record for the city. -Moline, Illinois had its coldest and snowiest December ever. The average temperature was a bitter 13.1 degrees and the total snowfall was 32 inches. The 32 inches of snow was also a record for its most snowfall in any month. -Dubuque, Iowa had 37.6 inches of snow during the past month for its snowiest month on record. -Louisville, Kentucky had its coldest December on record with an average temperature of 25.1 degrees. -Paducah, Kentucky had its coldest December on December on record with an average temperature of 25.1 degrees. -Paducah, Kentucky had its coldest December on record with an average temperature of 25.9 degrees. -South Bend, Indiana had its snowiest and coldest December on record with a total snowfall of 44.6 inches and an average temperature of 17.1 degrees. -Downtown Los Angeles, California concluded it first rainless November-December ever. Records for the city go back to 1877.

...2001... Grand Rapids, Michigan was buried under 51.7 inches of snow over a nine day period ending on this day -- its greatest amount of snow over such a short period of time on record.

...2002... Denver, Colorado recorded its driest year on record with only 7.48 inches of precipitation. -Yuma, Arizona also recorded its driest year on record with a meager .03 inches. -Both Goodland, Kansas and Des Moines, Iowa had their driest months ever with zero and a trace of precipitation falling, respectively.

...2003... The Tri-Cities Regional Airport in eastern Tennessee had its wettest year by far with 65.65 inches. The old record was 54.50 inches set in 1950.

...2004... 1819 tornadoes occurred in the U.S. for this year, by far the most ever recorded in a year since reliable records began. -Louisville, Kentucky concluded its wettest year on record with 65.52 inches. The old record was 63.76 inches in set 1996.

...2006... 5.1 inches of snow fell at Newport, Rhode Island, breaking the record of 3.5 inches set back in 1911.

...2010... Unusually warm air fueled strong storms in the midwestern and southern U.S., producing high winds and a preliminary count of 53 tornadoes across five states. At least eight people were killed in Missouri and Arkansas and dozens of others were injured. In Mississippi, about 200 people were evacuated from the Jackson-Evers International Airport, where an EF-2 tornado crossed a runway.

...2015... December 2015 was the warmest at Newport, Rhode Island. The average temperature there was 48.0 degrees, shattering the record of 41.5 set in 2001. 86 daily records were broken or tied.

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