If you were hoping for a white Christmas in Charlotte this year I suggest looking at pictures and videos from 2010. Getting snow on Christmas in Charlotte is a very rare event.
That’s why the white Christmas of 2010 was so special to so many residents of the area. Historically in 135 years of weather records in the city it has only snowed on Christmas day 11 times. That’s only 8% of the years, but 7 of those times it was only a trace which technically doesn’t qualify as a white Christmas. To truly have a white Christmas you need accumulation. Accumulating snows have only occurred 4 times in 135 years in Charlotte on Christmas day. Which means just 3% of the years since records began in Charlotte we have had a white Christmas. So 2010 was the first white Christmas in 63 years and was the 3rd most snow on Christmas day on record. The all-time highest total was 5.8” on Christmas day 1947. This was also the last time we had a white Christmas before 2010. On top of Charlotte seeing a rare White Christmas most of the Southeast and parts of the mid-South were covered in a blanket of fresh snow by Dec 27th.
The return frequency of a white Christmas in Charlotte is once every 33.75 years.
Christmas Weather History for Charlotte, NC:
Warmest Christmas Days on record:
Coldest Christmas Days on Record:
Based on history alone there has only been a white Christmas in Charlotte 3% of the time since records have started in 1878.
What about this year?
Right now, there is nothing to really get excited about. The pattern does turn stormier next weekend into Christmas week but there needs to be some cold air first to along for any talk of wintry weather. Right now, there isn’t cold enough air coming to make thing interesting. Some people got carried away with the long-range ECMWF model but didn’t look beyond the snow plots alone. The thing about the ECMWF was the solution wasn’t supported by the temperatures thicknesses or the overall setup or even its own ensembles. The pattern needs to flip first before we can get into a good snowstorm. Ice or a mixed precipitation is always more of a concern as the pattern changes. Stay tuned!