What are the chances of a white Christmas in Texas this year?

Ash Jurberg

Photo by Gino Castillo on Unsplash

Who is dreaming of a white Christmas? As rare as it may be in Texas- there is a slight chance it may occur. While snow is often associated with the northern states, there have been several snowy Christmas' in Texas.

Let's take a look at the probability of a Texan white Christmas.

What is a white Christmas?

We hear the term a lot, but what exactly is a white Christmas. The National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) defines a white Christmas as: "a snow depth of at least 1 inch observed on December 25th."

It doesn't actually have to snow on Christmas Day. A white Christmas can be either one inch of snow falling on Christmas or if there is one inch of snow from a previous day that is still on the ground.

The first Texan white Christmas

The earliest record of a white Christmas in Texas was in 1841. According to The National Weather Service, three soldiers from a nearby fort were tracking a bear in six inches of snow near what is now White Rock Lake in North Texas.

The Texas city with the best chance of a white Christmas

The city of Amarillo has an 11% historical probability of having a white Christmas. Since 1892, there have been twelve occasions when a white Christmas in the city. The most recent was in 2012- which followed on from a 2011 white Christmas.

Looking at other cities- the Dallas Fort Worth area has had four white Christmases on record. 2009 was the most recent when a snowstorm occurred across Dallas- Fort Worth.

Moving to Central Texas, and while Austin has experienced snow as early as November 14 and as late as March 27, it has never experienced a white Christmas.

South Texas is less likely to have snow on Christmas, but Corpus Christi has experienced the phenomenon twice. The first instance was back in 1918.

In 2004, 4.4 inches of snow fell at Corpus Christi International Airport, which broke the previous 24-hour snowfall record of 4.3 inches from February 14, 1895.

So while the chances of a white Christmas in Texas are small- it does happen!

Readers, what do you think? Would you like a white Christmas? Or do you prefer the less chilly conditions that Texas enjoys over winter?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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San Antonio, TX

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