State Rank State Rank New Hampshire 5 Connecticut 9 Maine 8 Delaware 9 Rhode Island 8 Vermont 10 New York 8 Pennsylvania 11 New Jersey 8 West Virginia 11 Maryland 8 Maine 16
Monthly temperature departures were fairly consistent across the region. The smallest departures were found in the south, where Delaware averaged 4.3 degrees warmer than the 30-year mean. The largest departures were found in New England, with New Hampshire topping the list at 5.8 degrees above normal.
Precipitation totals for the month were wetter than normal in southern New England, but on the dry side across the rest of the region. Delaware was the driest state. Its average of 1.5 inches of precipitation for the month was only 42% of normal, making it the 10th driest December on record. At the other end of the scale, Massachusetts received over 5 inches of precipitation (126% of normal) and Connecticut and Rhode Island were not too far behind with just over 4.5 inches each. Combined, the twelve states received 81% of the normal December precipitation amount-the 35th driest on record.
A wintery mix of precipitation was found over northern New York and New England from late on the 9th through the 11th. The snow, sleet and freezing rain changed to all rain in some areas, but not before causing several traffic accidents. In the Adirondacks of New York, the northern mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire and northern Maine, the precipitation remained frozen with accumulations in the 4 to 7 inch range.
Rain and drizzle brought in on northeast winds froze as it fell onto cold surfaces in the hills of western Maryland and eastern West Virginia on the 14th. The glaze that resulted wreaked havoc on the roadways and caused school closings in several counties.
The worst weather of the month occurred when an intense coastal storm brought strong, gusty winds and heavy rain to New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine on the 23rd and 24th. Persistent northerly winds pushed the tides in New Jersey to about 2.5 feet above normal, causing significant beach erosion and minor tidal flooding. Wind gusts in New England ranged from 55 mph at Norwood, MA to 84 mph at Nantucket, MA. One observer in southern Bristol County, MA reported a gust of 99 mph! The unusually strong winds downed trees and power lines along the coast and in some inland locations, leaving thousands without power. Ten to 20 foot seas pounded the New England coast, resulting in beach erosion, mainly in New Hampshire and southern Maine. Minor flooding and a few road closures occurred in southeastern New Hampshire and southwest Maine due to rapid runoff over frozen ground and a few small ice jams. The fierce storm also caused many traffic delays for holiday travelers in the Northeast.
Dense fog in the Buffalo, NY area on the 26th resulted in a few multi-vehicle accidents. Not only was the visibility poor, but cold surface temperatures caused the fog to form a dangerous coating of ice on untreated roadways.
The 29th was another blustery day in New York and New England as strong northerly winds ushered in the coldest air of the season. Some peak wind gusts include 38 mph at Burlington, VT; 44 mph at Portland, ME; 56 mph at Concord, NH; and 70 mph at Monhegan Island, ME. Wind chills fell to 20 to 35 degrees below zero in northern Vermont and New York and to -45 deg. in northern Maine. Blowing and drifting snow in northern Maine caused whiteouts and very slick roads. Numerous accidents, some with injuries, were reported.
Weather advisories for rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow were issued for parts of Pennsylvania, New York and western New England on the 31st, putting a damper on New Year's Eve celebrations. The slippery conditions resulted in many accidents and some road closures before warmer air changed the precipitation to all rain.