Weather Facts

What is the Weather like during the Month of December in Hampton Roads?

Meteorological winter begins December 1st which basically means that, on average, December is the first of the three coldest months of the year. Astronomical winter begins around the 22nd of the month. This is when the sunís angle is the lowest and the day light is of the shortest duration. Decembers can be stormy but they arenít always that active. It all depends on the weather pattern, of course. Noríeasters are a possibility and snow can occur this month. Since it takes a while before the ocean temperatures drop to the coldest levels of the year, which is usually in late February, coastal temperatures tend to be milder during December. However, this is dependent on the wind direction and speed. Strong winds can be a factor this month due to the sometimes deep low pressure systems that traverse the North American continent during December. Many times the low pressure areas can rapidly intensify off the coast due to the Gulf Stream energizing the storm systems. The difference in air masses helps create these monster storms. Cold domes of air that move down from the Arctic can produce high pressure which then increases the pressure gradient causing strong winds across the Mid-Atlantic States. There still can be some fairly nice days this month with fairly mild temperatures.