Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Dreaming of a white Christmas? Don’t pull out your snow boots just yet

(Southside Daily file photo/Courtesy of Pixabay)
(Southside Daily file photo/Courtesy of Pixabay)

White Christmas, you say?

Well, maybe next year.


To qualify as a white Christmas, meteorologists need to see at least one inch of snow on the ground, said meteorologist Mike Rusnak with the National Weather Service in Wakefield. As of Friday, forecasts don’t predict any chance of snow for Tuesday.

The National Weather Service in Wakefield predicts Christmas Day to be mostly sunny with no chance of precipitation. Tuesday is expected to fall within the average temperature range with a low of 34 degrees and a high of 54 degrees.

But locals in the past have had the privilege of a white Christmas.

The National Weather Service has recorded data from a station in Norfolk as early as 1871.

This data is used to analyze the weather history for Hampton Roads in general.

With all of this information, the tale of Christmas past in the area tells a sometimes snowy story.

The earliest recorded temperature for Hampton Roads is from 1874 with a high of 50 and a low of 34.

The coldest Christmas by a long shot occurred in 1983 when high temperatures failed to get out of the teens over Virginia and Maryland, the high of 16 degrees at Norfolk being the fifth coldest day recorded there since the 1870s.

A severe arctic outbreak affected the entire nation east of the Rockies that Christmas, with highs in the 30s and lows in the single digits as far south as north Florida.

The most snow ever recorded on Dec. 25 was in 1935 at 5 inches.

By contrast the hottest year on record for Christmas was in 2015 at 79 degrees, nearly 30 degrees above that day’s average temperature.

Even with all of the history of temperature recorded for Hampton Roads, it seems that meteorologists still can’t definitely say that snow will never fall on Christmas day in the region.

So, while a white Christmas doesn’t appear to be in the cards this year, locals can keep their hopes up knowing that it isn’t impossible for Christmas 2019.

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