The period around Christmas Day has provided some of the more memorable winter weather across the Lower Rio Grande Valley, particularly during within the past quarter century. While average calendar day temperatures sit at a balmy 60°F, many residents may remember Christmas week's past for both a White Christmas in 2004 and for long duration killing freezes in 1983 and again in 1989.
The freezes in the 1980s decimated the citrus crop, and destroyed most of the tall Washingtonian palms. The 1983 freeze was centered on Christmas Day, when temperatures failed to rise above 30°F after the frigid air, featuring temperatures falling below freezing around daybreak on Christmas Eve and bottoming out in the teens on Christmas morning. The 1989 freeze was centered on December 23nd, with the cold continuing well into Christmas Eve Day and ending with one more sub freezing morning on the 25th.
On the flip side, record highs have been rather springlike, with readings ranging from the lower 80s near the coast to the lower 90s well inland, including McAllen back in 1964, which set the all time record of 91°F in 1964. Precipitation averages notwithstanding, heavier rainfall has generally been less than an inch on Christmas Day, with the sole exception being Brownsville in 1935, when just over an inch fell.
So, how is Christmas 2008 shaping up? The winner is "springlike", with forecast high temperatures in the 70s to lower 80s, nighttime temperatures in the 60s for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, and gusty southerly winds mainly during the afternoon. Green, not white, will be the color of the day.
The tables below show the top ten warmest, coldest, and wettest Christmas Day weather for Brownsville, Harlingen, and McAllen. Please note that data from Harlingen and McAllen have been adjusted to best match the , or from midnight to midnight, and may differ from records stored by the National Climatic Data Center for which observations are often taken from between 7 AM and 7 AM local time, where the recorded values for a given day are often more representative of the calendar day values for the previous day.
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