New Year's Eve. Champagne, "Auld Lang Syne," and perhaps most iconic, watching the ball drop in Times Square. This tradition will be celebrating its 102nd year this month, having been held every year since 1907, with the exception of 1942 and 1943. Lights were dimmed in New York those years for World War II. The crowd still gathered at Times Square those years, but rather than watching the ball drop they held a minute of silence followed by the ringing of chimes. With such a long history, it's not surprising that the ball should also have a long history of weather to accompany it.
In 1917, the coldest ball drop to date took place. The temperature at midnight was only 1 degree, with a wind chill of -18 Fahrenheit. The high for that day had only peaked at 6 degrees.
By contrast, the warmest night is held at a tie of 58 degrees at midnight in both 1965 and 1972. The mild air is attributed to warm southwest winds that were in the region. Dec. 31, 1965 reached a record high of 63 degrees during the day.
Surprisingly, only seven of the 102-year history of the ball drop saw falling snow. While other years had falling snow on New Year's Eve, only 1926, 1934, 1948, 1952, 1961, 1967, and 2009 had snow actively falling while the ball dropped in New York City. The heaviest of these years was 1967, where moderate snow left 2 to 3 inches of snow on the ground.
The first widespread ice storm of the season will slowly diminish over parts of the southern and central Plains, but areas of slippery travel will continue into Sunday morning.Read Story >