Christmas Day Climatology for the South Plains Region: 2013 Edition

 

Will we see a White Christmas in 2013? As long term residents of the South Plains well know, the odds do not favor a White Christmas. In fact, in just over 100 years of records kept by the National Weather Service at the Lubbock Airport, there have been only 15 days with snow that has either fallen or been present on the ground Christmas Day. That's only about a 15% chance of seeing snow.

However, more recently, Lubbock has fared better with snow falling and/or on the ground in 2009, 2011 and 2012.  In 2009 no snow fell on Christmas, but two inches remained on the ground that morning after around three inches fell on Christmas Eve.  In 2011, an inch of snow fell on Christmas, after two inches fell on Christmas eve. With two inches reported on the ground, 2011 was one of the snowiest Christmases at Lubbock. Just last year (2012) the Lubbock Airport officially received a tenth of an inch of snow, but many locations on the south and west side of town saw one to two inches.

Officially, we need an inch or more of snow to fall or be on the ground to make a "White Christmas".  At Lubbock, we've only had this happen 6 times, or only about 6% of the time!  We've gathered some additional climate information (below) for Christmas Day at Lubbock that might interest you.

CLICK HERE to view Christmas Eve climatology for Lubbock

 
The tables below show the "average" weather and some extremes we've experienced on Christmas
TEMP/PRECIP NORMALS  
HIGH 53
LOW 26
Precip 0.02"
Snow 0.1"
TOP 5 HIGHEST TEMPS
1) 76 1955
2) 74 1971
3) 73 1979
4) 73 1922
5) 71 2005, 1963
TOP 5 LOWEST TEMPS
1) -1 1924
2) 0 1918
3) 3 1926
4) 5 2009
5) 5 1983
     
Precipitation
Number of times with any precip: 19
Number of times with measurable precip: 11
Number of times with snow (includes Trace): 15
TOP 5 WETTEST DAYS
1) 0.32" 1939
2) 0.27" 1997
3) 0.27" 1991
4) 0.17" 1987
5)  0.10" 1974
SNOW
1) 3.5" 1939
2) 3.1" 1997
3) 1.9" 1991
4) 1.0" 2011
5) 0.7" 1948
 
The image below shows the chance of a White Christmas (greater than 1 inch of snow on the ground) across the United States. This map was created using data from 1981-2010. Portions of Parmer and Castro County are in the second category (11-25%). A full story on the chances for a White Christmas across the United States can be FOUND HERE.
Historical probability of a White Christmas (greater than 1 inch of snow on the ground)
 
The table below shows the complete record of temperatures and precipitation for Lubbock on Christmas.

[NOTE: An * in the snow column indicates that it was measured snow depth, not new snowfall]
[** The southern and western part of Lubbock record 1-2" of snow Christmas morning]

Year Maximum Minimum Precip (in.) Snow (in.)
2012 35 18 0.01 0.1**
2011 33 29 0.06 1.0
2010 50 25
2009 35 5   2.0 *
2008 70 30
2007 64 32
2006 47 29 T T
2005 71 27
2004 53 15   2.0 *
2003 64 28
2002 50 21
2001 52 21
2000 27 20 0.03 T
1999 46 27 T
1998 54 15
1997 32 26 0.27 3.1
1996 48 24
1995 54 21
1994 61 29
1993 59 23
1992 44 31
1991 38 30 0.27 2.0
1990 44 18
1989 64 22
1988 65 30
1987 28 20 0.17 0.5
1986 48 32
1985 48 19
1984 35 21
1983 17 5 T T
1982 40 24
1981 53 31
1980 60 21
1979 73 31
1978 60 29
1977 44 19
1976 50 24
1975 48 27
1974 36 24 0.10 T
1973 56 20
1972 50 27
1971 74 38
1970 44 21
1969 57 28
1968 69 30
1967 45 21
1966 49 19
1965 57 26
1964 67 42
1963 71 26
1962 37 19 T T
1961 64 25
1960 68 29
1959 54 49 0.01
1958 57 22
1957 59 32
1956 52 19
1955 76 38
1954 68 35
1953 53 16
1952 40 14
1951 56 30
1950 70 24
1949 52 21
1948 37 21 0.08 0.7
1947 54 23 T T
1946 63 29
1945 52 27
1944 43 29
1943 56 21
1942 69 38
1941 52 31
1940 61 44
1939 32 26 0.32 3.5
1938 54 24
1937 62 31
1936 56 45
1935 47 26 T
1934 70 29
1933 69 19
1932 50 26
1931 62 31
1930 44 27
1929 68 24
1928 61 18
1927 36 33 T
1926 25 3
1925 56 23
1924 38 -1
1923 42 26
1922 73 27
1921 50 12
1920 58 25
1919 54 25
1918 32 0
1917 40 19
1916 68 28
1915 56 11
1914 43 26 0.01
1913 37 13
1912 M M
1911 M M T

USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.