Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Chance For A White Christmas

Now that we are officially into the Holiday season, many are asking what are the chances of having a white Christmas?  While meteorologically it is impossible to predict exactly what will happen, we can look at historical records to shed some light on the possibilities.  The National Weather Service office in North Little Rock has done a fantastic job putting a ton of data together.  Check out the map and the information below.

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Historical chance of a white Christmas

The following is from the National Weather Service office in North Little Rock...


SINCE SNOWFALL RECORDS WERE STARTED IN LITTLE ROCK...THERE HAVE BEEN RELATIVELY FEW TIMES WHEN SNOW WAS SEEN ON CHRISTMAS DAY. 

THERE HAVE BEEN 14 YEARS WHEN SOME KIND OF SNOW WAS SEEN IN LITTLE ROCK ON CHRISTMAS DAY. SNOW HAS FALLEN ON CHRISTMAS DAY NINE TIMES...WITH MEASURABLE SNOW OCCURRING FOUR TIMES. SNOW FLURRIES OCCURRED THE OTHER FIVE TIMES. IN FIVE OTHER YEARS...THERE WAS SNOW ON THE GROUND CHRISTMAS DAY FROM EARLIER SNOWFALLS. ONLY FOUR TIMES...IN 1963...1983...1990 AND 2004 WAS THE GROUND COVERED WITH SNOW THE ENTIRE DAY. OVERALL...THERE HAS BEEN SNOW COVER FOR AT LEAST PART OF CHRISTMAS DAY NINE TIMES. 

GOING JUST BY THE AVERAGES...SNOW ON CHRISTMAS IN LITTLE ROCK IS SEEN ABOUT ONCE EVERY EIGHT YEARS. SNOW ON THE GROUND ON CHRISTMAS OCCURS ABOUT ONCE EVERY 14 YEARS...AND MEASURABLE SNOWFALL OCCURS ABOUT ONCE PER GENERATION...OR EVERY 28 YEARS. ONLY ONCE HAS LITTLE ROCK SEEN SNOW FOR CHRISTMAS ON CONSECUTIVE YEARS. 

IN 1887...1914...1918...1935...AND 1939...SNOW FELL WITH NO ACCUMULATION. 

IN 1897...ONE INCH OF SNOW FELL ON CHRISTMAS DAY BETWEEN 450 AM AND 1245 PM. BY 700 PM THAT NIGHT...ONLY A TRACE OF SNOW REMAINED ON THE GROUND. 

IN 1913...SNOW STARTED AT MIDNIGHT AND CONTINUED UNTIL 1130 AM CHRISTMAS DAY. A TOTAL OF ONE AND ONE HALF (1.5) INCHES OF SNOW FELL...BUT DURING THE AFTERNOON THE TEMPERATURE ROSE TO 40 DEGREES AND MOST OF IT MELTED. BY THAT EVENING ONLY A TRACE OF SNOW REMAINED ON THE GROUND. 

ON CHRISTMAS DAY IN 1926...SLEET CHANGED TO SNOW ABOUT 815 AM AND SNOW CONTINUED FALLING UNTIL 130 PM. THE TOTAL ACCUMULATION FOR THAT STORM WAS TWO AND ONE HALF (2.5) INCHES. THE SNOW STAYED ON THE GROUND FOR SEVERAL DAYS. IRONICALLY...THERE WAS A SERIOUS TORNADO OUTBREAK IN ARKANSAS ON THANKSGIVING THAT YEAR. 

ON CHRISTMAS EVE IN 1962...IT SNOWED AN INCH AND A HALF (1.5) DURING THE DAY BUT MELTED QUICKLY DURING THE NIGHT...LEAVING ONLY PATCHES OF SNOW ON THE GROUND CHRISTMAS MORNING...WHICH MELTED THAT DAY. 

IN 1963...FOUR INCHES OF SNOW WAS ON THE GROUND CHRISTMAS DAY...LEFT OVER FROM A 9.8 INCH SNOWFALL ON DECEMBER 22. THIS IS THE ONLY TIME SNOW HAS BEEN SEEN ON CHRISTMAS IN CONSECUTIVE YEARS. 

IN 1975...IT SNOWED ON CHRISTMAS AFTERNOON. IN MANY OF THE HILLS AROUND THE CITY UP TO TWO INCHES OF SNOW ACCUMULATED. FOR THOSE LIVING IN THE LOWER ELEVATIONS OF THE CITY...RAIN AND SNOW WAS MIXED AND LITTLE OF THE SNOW REMAINED ON THE GROUND. BY THE NEXT DAY...MOST OF THE SNOW HAD MELTED. 

IN 1983...A TOTAL OF 2 INCHES OF SNOW FELL EARLIER IN THE WEEK AND THERE WAS SOME ICE ON TOP OF THAT. DUE TO MELTING AND REFREEZING...THERE WAS ABOUT AN INCH OF ICE AND SNOW LEFT ON THE GROUND BY CHRISTMAS DAY. 

IN 1990...2.4 INCHES OF SNOW AND SLEET FELL ON DECEMBER 22-23 AND MOST OF IT REMAINED ON THE GROUND THROUGH CHRISTMAS DAY. 

IN 2000...THERE WAS SOME SNOW ON THE GROUND IN NORTHERN AND WESTERN ARKANSAS ON CHRISTMAS DAY...BUT NOT IN LITTLE ROCK. INSTEAD...ONE OF THE LARGEST ICE STORMS IN RECORDED HISTORY OVERSPREAD THE STATE...SHUTTING THE STATE DOWN THROUGH THE REMAINDER OF THE YEAR. 

IN 2004...SNOW FELL IN MUCH OF NORTHERN AND CENTRAL ARKANSAS ON DECEMBER 22ND. IN LITTLE ROCK...ROUGHLY 3 INCHES OF SNOW WAS MEASURED...WITH 2 INCHES STILL ON THE GROUND ON CHRISTMAS DAY. 

IN 2009...LIGHT SNOW BEGAN A LITTLE BEFORE MIDNIGHT ON CHRISTMAS EVE. IT ENDED AROUND 3 AM CHRISTMAS MORNING...WITH PATCHES OF SNOW ON THE GROUND THROUGH EARLY MORNING.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Less than a 5% chance of snow. This is why I hate living here.

Omarr Wilson said...

Exactly.! This is what I'm not Used to. We used to have Lots of White Christmas's in St. Louis.! So all of that In a Nut Shell The Chances for Little Rock... Slim To None.!

Anonymous said...

good post Todd. Thats why i like living here there is a chance for snow on christmas. I lived in Houston Texas for 5 YEARS THERE WAS NEVER any snow not only during christmas but the whole year ZIP. much better chances here.

JasonBHampton said...

This is not going to be a normal year. The chances this year will be higher. Dont give up on a White Christmas before it is even here. I said it 1 week ago and I am still going with our first COLD blast and Winter Weather chance Dec 5-10....It will happen! SLEET/ICE! The Wishcaster, Jason

Kevin Conant (Singing weatherman/Weather Nerd) said...

Hey, the latest models suggest an Arctic Blast with thickness levels below 534 across much of Arkansas, with precipitation nearby. Maybe, maybe!

Hey add me on Facebook if you have one "Kevin Conant" Nashville, AR: Location. Hard to miss, given the weather forecasts all over it!

NOAA Winter Guidance