...1864... Snow, gales and severe cold hit the Midwest. It was the most bitter cold New Year's day of record with afternoon highs of 16 below zero at Chicago IL and 25 below at Minneapolis MN.
...1885... The mercury dropped to 63 degrees below zero on Poplar River in northeastern Montana
...1918... The coldest modern New Year's Day of this century was recorded in New England. Some temperatures were Boston - 3 degrees below; Newport Rhode Island -2 below, New Haven - 7 below, Northfield, Vermont - 24 below, Bethlehem, New Hampshire - 20 below, and Van Buren, Maine - 32 below.
...1934... Heavy rain which began on December 30th led to flooding in the Los Angeles Basin area of California. Flooding claimed the lives of at least 45 persons. Walls of water and debris up to ten feet high were noted in some canyon areas. Rainfall totals ranged up to 16.29 inches at Azusa, with 8.26 inches reported in Downtown Los Angeles.
...1938... 6.2 inches of snow fell at Newport, Rhode Island, breaking the record of 5.5 set back in 1900.
...1949... A six day blizzard began over the Northern Rockies and the Great Plains. The storm produced the most adverse weather conditions in the history of the west.
...1979... The record low temperature for the state of Colorado was recorded at Maybell. The thermometer bottomed out at 60 degrees below zero (this record was broken in 1985).
...1987... A winter storm brought rain and snow and high winds to the Southern and Middle Atlantic Coast Region. The storm, which occurred in a period of unusually high astronomical tides, produced a tide of 9.4 feet at Myrtle Beach SC (their highest since Hurricane Hazel in 1954) which caused a total of 25 million dollars damage in South Carolina.
...1988... Arctic cold gripped the north central U.S. The morning low of 31 degrees below zero at Alamosa CO was a record for the date. Squalls in the Great Lakes Region produced 17 inches of snow at Elmira NY.
...1989... Those who woke up New Year's morning unable to see much farther than the end of their nose had a good excuse, at least in the central U.S., as dense fog prevailed from Texas to Wisconsin.
...1990... The new year and decade began on a rather peaceful note. Snow was primarily confined to the Great Lakes Region, the Upper Ohio Valley, and the Sierra Nevada Range of California. Subzero temperature readings were confined to Minnesota and North Dakota.
...1994... Strong winds along the eastern slopes of the Central Rockies gusted to 70 mph at Arlington WY, and gusted to 80 mph near Estes Park CO. Heavy snow in the northeast mountains of Oregon produced 14 inches at Tollgate. A series of storms the first three days of the year produced 20 inches of snow at Lowman, in the west central mountains of Idaho.
...1997... Heavy precipitation fell from December 26, 1996 to January 3, 1997 in much of the west. In the California Sierra Nevadas the Truckee River reached its highest level on record. Lake Tahoe reached its highest level since 1917. Sacramento was spared the worst of the flooding by a system of levees, although many nearby towns were not so fortunate. Numerous levee breaches and breaks occurred across the state. Approximately 16,000 residences were damaged or destroyed. State officials estimated at least $1.6 billion in damages to private and public property.
...1999... A major blizzard struck portions of the Midwest on January 1-3, 1999. The storm produced 22 inches of snow in Chicago and was rated by the NWS as the second worst blizzard of the 20th century, ranking behind the blizzard in January 1967. Estimates of losses and recovery costs are between $0.3 and $0.4 billion with 73 dead as a result of the blizzard.
...2002... Intense lake effect snow squalls buried sections of Lewis County in New York with tremendous snows. Snowfalls for the four day period ending on this day were 86 inches at North Osceola, 104 inches at Highmarket, and 127 inches at Montague. The 127 inches at Montague is one of the greatest snowfalls ever recorded for a single lake effect snow event.