December 16th, 2009: Christmas Day Statistics (Brian Bledsoe)

Our good friends at the National Weather Service Office in Pueblo put these stats together, in reference to Christmas Day.  In case you were wondering about our annual chances for a white XMAS, here you go...

 

The chances are not very good if you are wishing for a "White Christmas" across much of Southeast Colorado. The most widely used definition of a "White Christmas" is 1 inch of snow on the ground on December 25th. After a very winter like feel for the first part of December and a mild mid December, the latest computer projections are indicating more unsettled weather possible for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Listed below are "Christmas facts" which have been compiled from the Pueblo, Colorado Springs and Alamosa climate records.

 

Christmas in Pueblo

Normal High

Normal Low

Record High

Record Low

Lowest Maximum (Coldest High)

Highest Minimum (Warmest Low)

44

14

72 in 1971

-10 in 1983

14 in 1983

37 in 1892

 

 

 

SNOWFALL 5.1 inches in 1987 Number of times with a trace or more......18 Number of times with an inch or more.....7 Climatological chance of a trace or more...15% Climatological chance of an inch or more...6%

SNOW ON THE GROUND

Record Snow on Ground:

6.0 inches in 1983. Number of times with a trace or more.......18 Number of times with an inch or more......11 Climatological chance of a trace or more....30% Climatological chance of an inch or more...18%

The last "White Christmas" occurred in 2000. The snow began falling shortly before midnight Christmas Eve, with only trace amounts reported through the morning hours. The snow began to pick up during the afternoon hours and ended shortly before midnight, with a total snowfall of 1.8 inches. The previous last "White Christmas" then occurred in 1987. There was 1 inch of snow on the ground at 5 am that morning, with a record total of 5.1 inches falling for the day. The last time before that was in 1976. There was 1 inch of snow on the ground that Christmas morning, with an additional 0.6 inches falling that day. Over the past 108 years, there has only been two separate occasions where snow has fallen on two consecutive Christmas - 1911/1912, and in 1941/1942.

Snowfall records are in inches, from 1888 to the present. Snow on the ground is at 5 am MST, from 1948 to the present.

 

Christmas in Colorado Springs

Normal High

Normal Low

Record High

Record Low

Lowest Maximum (Coldest High)

Highest Minimum (Warmest Low)

41

14

67 in 1971

-15 in 1983

16 in 1962, 1987

34 in 1929

SNOWFALL

Record Snowfall:

2.3 inches in 1911 Number of times with a trace or more.......18 Number of times with an inch or more........6 Climatological chance of a trace or more......15% Climatological chance of an inch or more.......3%

SSNNOOWW OONN TTHHEE GGRROOUUNNDD

Record Snow on Ground:

7.0 inches in 1982 Number of times with a trace or more........26 Number of times with an inch or more.......16 Climatological chance of a trace or more......43% Climatological chance of an inch or more.....26%

The last "White Christmas" was in 1987 when there was an inch of snow throughout

the day, along with an inch of snow on the ground in the morning. Before that, the last "White Christmas" was in 1976 when there was an inch of snow during the day and an inch of snow on the ground in the morning. Christmas Day 1994 brought an unusual surprise to the North end of Colorado Springs, and the area northward to Castle Rock. At 1206 pm, a 4.0 earthquake rocked the region, shaking houses and buildings with no major damage reported.

Snowfall records are in inches, from April 1 1948 to the present. Snow on the ground is at 5 am.

Christmas in Alamosa

Normal High

Normal Low

Record High

Record Low

Lowest Maximum

("Coldest High")

Highest Minimum

("Warmest Low")

33

-3

60 in 1942

-27 in 1974

12 in 1991

28 in 1971

SNOWFALL

Record Snowfall:

Number of times with a trace or more.........

3.5 inches in 1942 17 Number of times with an inch or more..........8 Climatological chance of a trace or more.........22% Climatological chance of an inch or more........10%

SNOW ON THE GROUND

Record Snow on Ground:

10.0 inches in 1991 Number of times with a trace or more............44 Number of times with an inch or more...........34 Climatological chance of a trace or more..........58% Climatological chance of an inch or more.........45%

The last "White Christmas" was in 2007. There was 6 inches of snow on the ground at 5 am that morning. While no snow fell during the day, it began to fall around sunset with a total of 2 inches falling through the evening. The last time before that was in 1997 when there was six inches of snow on the ground at 5 am that morning, and a total of 1.1 inches falling for the day. The last time before that was in 1987 when there was 3 inches of snow on the ground that Christmas morning, with 2.4 inches falling that day. Over the past 55 years, snow has never fallen on two consecutive Christmas'.

Snowfall records are in inches, from 1952 to the present. Snow on the ground is at 5 am MST

(7 am MST from 1984 - 1991 due to part-time staffing).

 

So, while the chances of a White Christmas aren't very good, we are going to see some weather changes occur next week.  There is still much uncertainty with how it will evolve, but a storm system could potentially bring snow to the area next Wednesday and Thursday.  Tough to say how much at this point, but it could potentially bring us some snow.  In addition to the snow chance, much colder temperatures will arrive next Wednesday.  Either way, it does look like it will feel more like Winter as we get into the middle of next week.  We'll keep you posted...

Chief Meteorologist Brian Bledsoe

 

Record Snowfall:

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Beth Location: Colorado Springs on Dec 10, 2010 at 02:05 PM
    Hi, please add a Christmas Snow Forecast to the nightly weather. All the kids are asking us daily about it. We're hoping there's a storm that brings snow so that it's still here on Christmas Day. Thanks!
  • by Ed Location: 80907 on Dec 23, 2009 at 12:05 PM
    Why does the National Weather service always call for like 90% chance of snow despit the fact there is a stront North wind? You guys seem to know about it and so do the other local stations, but the NWS doesn't have a clue.
  • by Julio Location: 80907 on Dec 23, 2009 at 10:53 AM
    The donut hole sucks....
  • by jon Location: strattonmeadows'/southgate on Dec 22, 2009 at 08:14 PM
    ran out of characters, so to finish statement of snow observations; as said in previous comment, those were the most notable i remembered, all rest of all those years leading up to end of '99 each year there were at least one or 2 snows of 7 - 10 inch that would occur each year that did not include the notable snow events. even the dry years, for example the 1962 - 1963 winter,Nov had 1 8" & in Mar there were 2 back to back 5"ers with only 2 or 3 other snows of about 2" rest of that winter. 65-66 had a couple of very small snows & one 9"er maybe a couple of 3s as well. all these 7 - 10"ers occured on SE upslope windflows, usually a low hanging near 4corners to about Santa Fe NM , seems these do not occur anymore.. perhaps Brian would find some of this of 'interest'... i have no real idea of what the snow history for same period of time was for this southgate area, seems that it should have done well during SE upslopes that no longer occurs... jon
  • by Brian Location: Vacation on Dec 22, 2009 at 08:04 PM
    Donut hole will show up Wednesday morning when the north wind kicks in. Not a big storm for the Springs or Pueblo. 1 to 3 is about right...
  • by Ed Location: Widefield on Dec 22, 2009 at 04:09 PM
    Thanks Dolores, but don't hold your breath. I'll be surprised if we see very much snow. Oh, it will snow, and it will be cold. But it will stop way sooner and move out faster than any of these weather guys think it will.
  • by Dolores Location: Rocky Ford on Dec 22, 2009 at 03:02 PM
    Ed, I was hoping you would get a nice snow this time. Maybe you will after all. Anyway have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year! Everybody at KKTV "Happy Holidays"
  • by Jay Location: Springs Ranch on Dec 22, 2009 at 01:42 PM
    Looks like a lot of changes in the forecast already. Early this morning it was 1 to 3 inches, then 2 to 4, then 1 to 4, and now back to 1 to 3. Why is this? Is the track looking diffrent on the computer models?
  • by Ed Location: Widefield on Dec 22, 2009 at 11:29 AM
    Ed, your neighborhood friendly skeptic here. We're going to suffer the donut hole effect with this storm (Dec. 22nd - 24th) - meaning we'll get a dusting to MAYBE an inch. But all around us, they'll see plenty of snow. Brian, if I'm right, you owe me a starbucks. Deal?
  • by Brian Location: Weather Center on Dec 21, 2009 at 09:05 PM
    Yeah, should be enough for a White Christmas for many folks on the Eastern Plains. The wind plus whatever snow occurs will be kind of nasty on Wednesday... Thanks for checking in Tim.
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