December has a lot going on. For many, the holidays are in full swing. If not, there are a lot of unfinished business to get done before the New Year. It’s also a time for family, vacation, travel, and days off. The arrival of winter is a constant. The ten states with the best December weather are listed below.
The overall climate and the quantity of precipitation a state receives in the last month of the year are taken into account in this ranking. The temperature and general weather safety are further concerns.
Just west of Florida, in the Gulf, is Mississippi. Thus, it receives a good quantity of rain. The overall warm environment is the trade-off, though. While August may feel more like a scorching heat, December sees high 40s with an average temperature of 48.3 F.
Like almost every state on our list, though, that will vary depending on where you are in the area.With 332 miles between the south and north, there is ample space for temperature variance. The extreme north of Mississippi experiences a below-freezing temperature once every few years, albeit this usually occurs in the dead of winter after December. Even so, an additional ten to twelve degrees can be the difference between the best December weather in the south of Mississippi.
However, the state’s northern regions will see somewhat less rain over the winter (and the entire year). In Mississippi, the average amount of precipitation in December is 5.64 inches.
Hurricanes pose a threat of natural disasters to all states along the Gulf Coast. Additionally, the official hurricane season finishes one day prior to December 1. But only two storms on average make landfall in the US each year, according to the EPA.
California can seem strange to be ranked last. However, altogether, December is not the finest month. This month’s weather in California is decent but not spectacular. (Heck, it’s still preferable to forty-one other states!) California is a lengthy state from south to north, just like Mississippi. Once more, this results in different climates. California is over three times as tall as Mississippi, with a height of over 1,000 miles. The Pacific Coast occupies one side of that height, which further complicates the climate.
In California, December has an average temperature of 43.7 F. The low for the early winter will be in the mid-40s from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Still, LA may reach room temperature while San Francisco, to the north, will remain in the 50s.
There isn’t much snow to collect in December outside of the higher-elevation mountains.
Still, precipitation tends to concentrate in the winter for the state as a whole. In the state, 4.05 inches of precipitation fall on average in December.
Natural catastrophes are a significant element that detracts from the Sunshine State’s position for having the greatest December weather. Even if there aren’t many earthquakes strong enough to do significant harm, there are still various wildfires, sporadic localized flooding, and other disasters to take into account. Since 2014, California has seen ten earthquakes with a magnitude of 6.0 or higher.
The coldest state thus far for December’s best weather is the Show Me State. However, this is outweighed by other comforts, weather safety considerations, and associated features. Its average temperature in December is 35.0 degrees Fahrenheit.
December is a milder month with less snow. There will be some snow in the state’s northern regions toward the end of the year. It is doable, though, at no more than 4 inches. There isn’t much rain in December, despite the temperatures that linger above freezing and the sporadic snowfall. In Missouri, the last month of the year brings with it an average of just 2.53 inches of precipitation; in the south, there is more.
Naturally, Missouri is close to the US Tornado Alley. They were among the top quarter of states with 45 per year between 1990 and 2010.
Tennessee has temperate winters but harsh, muggy summers. For December, this trade-off is perfect. In December, the average daily temperature is 41.2 F. Part of the Blue Ridge Mountains are located in the state. Compared to the main coastal ranges, these hills have milder weather and lower heights.
The Volunteer State has a 250-day growing season, which indicates that the general climate is varied but tolerable (albeit getting those milder winter days may require traveling to the southwest region of the state).
The fact that a little bit more rain helps the growing season is one thing that dampens this. Tennessee receives 5.62 inches of precipitation on average in December. Even so, this December weather is still among the greatest.
Tennessee, which is close to Tornado Alley, seems to have a decline in tornado frequency. Wildfires and floods have occurred on occasion, among other dangers.
With the exception of one December low in 2000, when it fell below freezing, temperatures in Arkansas typically remain in the upper 40s. The average temperature in December is 42.9 degrees. For the states currently on the list, this number is average. Nevertheless, the Great Plains’ dry climate and the Gulf of Mexico’s proximity combine to provide erratic weather all year long. It is among the top December weather conditions.
In addition, the final month of the year receives 4.86 inches of precipitation on average. Arkansas is the lowest elevation in the country and experiences some of the heat and humidity of the South. It is, nevertheless, officially a temperate area. The state’s snowfall records—it receives very little snow—are the main selling factor for its December climate. In December, two communities in Razorback State receive an average of more than one inch of snowfall.
Regarding meteorological risks, Arkansas is close to Tornado Alley. There were 39 tornadoes there year on average between 1990 and 2010. In addition, floods and rare freak ice storms occur. In spite of this, it seems that there aren’t many true weather disasters.
The term “nevada” in Spanish means “snow.” There may be some in December, depending on where you are. It’s warm, though. Surprisingly, the monthly average temperature is only 31.6 degrees. Less attention is paid to Northern Nevada, the mountainous area west of Las Vegas, despite the fact that temperatures there sometimes drop below freezing during the final month of the year.
Yes, there will be snow up there as well. However, December temperatures across the state are bearable, with the southern part of the state seeing exceptionally good weather. The aforementioned snow is very different beyond the snow-covered mountains. In contrast to Vegas, which receives little to none, Elko in the north experiences several feet annually.
Nevada ranks higher on the list because it receives 1.17 inches of precipitation on average in December, which is more than any other state. Nevada is the US state with the least quantity of annual precipitation.
Natural disasters like wildfires do occur in Nevada, a state with some mountains covered in forests. Occasionally, there are also floods and storms.
7. New Mexico
December temperatures in New Mexico typically reach 35.8 F. At the end of the month, temperatures in the northern regions could go below freezing, but overall, the state’s temperatures are in the 40s, 50s, or even higher.
The state’s topographical map, which has canyons, mesas, buttes, and mountains, reveals an astounding diversity. The height above sea level fluctuates from half a mile to a mile, yet the elevation will change. That implies that it will be arid. With 0.81 inches of precipitation, December is dry. Wildfires have been an issue because of the state’s arid climate, where the wettest areas receive less than a foot of rain annually.
The average temperature in the Lone Star State in December is a very pleasant 48.6 F. Considering the size of the state, which could easily weigh the average, that is even more amazing. While several states have diverse climates and topographies that cause unpredictability, Texas rarely experiences below-freezing temperatures during the final month of the year. This is true for the entire state. It ranks higher on the list of states with the best December weather because of its consistent temperatures, regardless of location.
The Balcones Escarpment may have the greatest geographic impact on precipitation and weather. The amount of rain in El Paso, which is located in the extreme west of Texas, and Houston, which is in the east, differ greatly. December sees 1.78 inches of precipitation across the whole state.
Snowfall in the state averages five inches per year, while there may be considerable variations in the amount of rain.
Population, climate, and size all have an impact on the frequency of natural disasters. There have been storms, wildfires, and other risks depending on location along the hundreds of miles of the Gulf Coast, which is home to woods, mountains, and barren deserts.
9. South Carolina
South Carolina spans the subtropical southern region and the temperate inland regions, with a vast coastline. December temperatures are 47.9 F on average. Summers could be quite warm. But it’s difficult to top the winter, particularly December. For this month, the majority of the Palmetto State remains at or above the high 30s Fahrenheit.
The state receives 3.83 inches of precipitation on average in December. In this last month of the year, temperatures in the northern regions of the state will be higher than usual. The only area that receives any snowfall is where the Blue Ridge Mountains border South Carolina. No matter where you live, the state’s maximum amount of snowfall is less than one inch. It’s perfect for December’s greatest weather because of this.
In terms of natural calamities, South Carolina can occasionally see an unusual winter storm. Furthermore, although being closer to the hurricane hotspot in the US, they are still comparatively secure from it due to the rarity of the severe hurricanes.
10. North Carolina
North Carolina is fortunate to be nestled between the strong heat of the Deep South and the harsh winters of the northeast, with hundreds of miles of coastline. December temperatures in the Tar Heel State average 43.9 degrees Fahrenheit.
Here, too, the geography and its impact on climate are different. However, it’s not as bad as in other states. In North Carolina, 3.81 inches of precipitation falls on average in December. Regardless of where in the state you live in December, the high relative humidity won’t be an issue.
There will be snow in North Carolina’s rural, western areas. However, nothing major will accumulate in December.
While North Carolina is occasionally hit by hurricanes, there aren’t many wildfires or other hazards due to the state’s temperate environment and terrain. The state experiences frequent flooding and tropical storms, despite the rarity of tornadoes. The USGS concluded that South Carolina has a higher earthquake risk than this northern equivalent, despite the fact that it is situated along a fault line that crosses Virginia.