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Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Baltimore MD/Washington DC
1055 AM EST Thu Dec 21 2017

*      *     *      *       *       *    *    *     *   *      * 
 *
*        *          WHITE CHRISTMAS STATISTICS  *         *     
*
    *           *        *         *                 *       *

Here are the Christmas statistics for Baltimore MD and Washington
DC compiled by the National Weather Service’s Baltimore/Washington
Forecast Office.

The big questions...

 * What are our odds of a white Christmas? ...

 * What is typical Christmas weather? ...

First for Washington...then for Baltimore below...

                          *** Washington ***

Examination of climate records going back to 1872 for Christmases
in Washington show a typical Christmas day is partly cloudy with 
a frosty early morning low of 30 and an afternoon high of 44. But 
the year-to-year weather can vary considerably.

Snow (and Rain)...

Snowfall occurring on Christmas day is rare in Washington. Since 
1884 when snowfall records began in Washington DC, only 9 times 
has there been measurable snow that actually fell on Christmas 
day. That averages to about once every 15 years, or about 7 percent.

The 5 highest snowfall days occurring in Washington on Christmas 
day...

    1... 1962 ... 5.4 inches
    2... 1909 ... 4.5 inches
    3... 1969 ... 4.3 inches
    4... 1902 ... 1.0 inches
    5... 1935 ... 0.6 inches

If one interprets a white Christmas being as either having 
measurable snowfall, and/or having snow already on the ground, 
then odds of a white Christmas are better. Since 1884, twenty 
times measurable snow was on the ground on Christmas day that 
either fell that day, or was still on the ground from an earlier 
snowfall. That averages to a white Christmas about once every 7 
years, or a 14 percent chance.

Washington last had measurable snow falling on Christmas Day 
15 years ago in 2002, with 0.2 inches of snow and sleet reported 
that day. 

The last time we had measurable snow on the ground from a 
previous snow was 2009 when 7 inches were still on the ground from
the first of three major snowstorms that winter that hit on 
December 18-19. All 7 inches of that snowpack on Christmas morning
2009 melted by the next morning.

Precipitation of any sort (rain included) is much easier to come 
by of course. Fifty-three Christmases have had measurable 
precipitation. That translates to about 37 percent of the time, or
about one in every three.

Coldest Christmases...

The coldest was 1983 with a low temperature of 3 degrees above 
zero. That day also produced the coldest high temperature for 
Christmas, a frigid 14 degrees that afternoon. The five coldest 
low temperatures on Christmas day were:

          1983 - 3  degrees 
          1872 - 5  degrees 
          1989 - 11 degrees           
          1980 - 12 degrees 
          1906 - 13 degrees 

Warmest Christmases...

The warmest Christmas day featured a toasty high of 72 degrees in
1964. That said, two years ago was one of the warmest as well at
69 degrees. The top 5 warmest were:

          1964 - 72 degrees           
          1982 - 70 degrees 
    1965, 2015 - 69 degrees 
          1932 - 68 degrees 

Christmases in the 2000s:

      2016 -->  Hi 51  Low 35   Mostly sunny and mild
      2015 -->  Hi 69  Low 57   Very warm. Morning fog, then rain 
      2014 -->  Hi 61  Low 46   Pre-dawn cold front then mild mostly sunny  
      2013 -->  Hi 33  Low 22   Mostly sunny and cool 
      2012 -->  Hi 51  Low 34   Mostly cloudy and seasonably mild  
      2011 -->  Hi 48  Low 34   Mostly sunny and seasonable 
      2010 -->  Hi 36  Low 32   Cloudy/morning flurries
      2009 -->  Hi 47  Low 29   Snowmelt/cloudy/mid afternoon-night rain 
      2008 -->  Hi 58  Low 32   Partly sunny high occurred at midnight 
      2007 -->  Hi 52  Low 37   Partly sunny and mild 
      2006 -->  Hi 50  Low 37   Cloudy with afternoon and night rain 
      2005 -->  Hi 44  Low 30   Cloudy with afternoon rain  
      2004 -->  Hi 33  Low 24   Sunny and cold 
      2003 -->  Hi 42  Low 31   Mostly sunny and blustery 
      2002 -->  Hi 39  Low 33   Rain with some snow/sleet 
      2001 -->  Hi 41  Low 28   Mostly sunny and cool 
      2000 -->  Hi 28  Low 19   Sunny breezy and cold

For the very latest weather expectations for this Christmas,
consult our latest forecast at weather.gov/washington and our
winter page weather.gov/washington/winter .

                         *** Baltimore MD ***

Examination of weather records going back to 1872, shows a typical
Christmas day is partly cloudy with a frosty early morning low of
26 and an afternoon high of 43. But the year-to-year weather can 
vary considerably.

Snow (and rain)...

Snow falling on Christmas day is rare in Baltimore. It last 
happened 15 years ago in 2002 when a generally rainy Christmas 
morning changed to snow during the late morning to yield an inch 
of snowfall. However, since 1893 when snowfall records began in 
Baltimore MD, only twelve times has there been measurable snow 
that fell on Christmas day. That averages to about once every 10 
years, or about 10 percent.

The 5 highest snowfalls occurring in Baltimore on Christmas day...

    1... 1909 ... 9.3 inches
    2... 1969 ... 6.1 inches
    3... 1902 ... 3.0 inches
    4... 1962 ... 2.9 inches
    5... 1935 ... 1.2 inches

If one interprets a white Christmas as either measurable snowfall
and/or having snow already on the ground, the odds of a white 
Christmas improve. Since 1893, there have been 24 Christmases that
measurable snow either fell that day, or was on the ground 
already from a previous storm. That averages to a white Christmas 
about once every 5 years, or about a 20 percent chance.

Baltimore last had measurable snow falling on Christmas Day 
15 years ago in 2002, with 1.0 inches of snow and sleet reported 
that day. 

The last time we had measurable snow on the ground from a previous
snow was 2009 when 6 inches were still on the ground from the 
first of three major snowstorms that winter that hit on December 
18-19. All 6 inches of that snowpack on Christmas morning 2009 
melted by the next morning.

Precipitation of any sort, including rain, is much easier to come
by of course. Fifty one Christmases have had measurable 
precipitation. That translates to about 35 percent of the time.

Coldest Christmases...

The coldest Christmas was recorded in 1983 when the temperature 
fell to zero degrees. That day also produced the coldest high 
temperature for the day, a frigid 12 degrees. The five coldest 
lows on Christmas in Baltimore were:

          1983 - 0  degrees 
          1980 - 7  degrees    
          1989 - 7  degrees 
          1872 - 8  degrees             
          1960 - 12 degrees    

Warmest Christmases...

The warmest Christmas in Baltimore, a toasty 72 degrees in 1964.
That said, two years ago was the second warmest at 71. The six 
warmest Christmases:

          1964 - 72 degrees 
          2015 - 71 degrees
          1982 - 70 degrees 
1889, 1893, 1932 - 67 degrees 


Christmases in the 2000s:

      2016 -->  Hi 50  Low 27   Mostly sunny and mild
      2015 -->  Hi 71  Low 58   Very warm. Morning fog, then rain
      2014 -->  Hi 61  Low 35   Pre-dawn cold front then mild mostly sunny
      2013 -->  Hi 32  Low 18   Mostly sunny and cold
      2012 -->  Hi 48  Low 30   Mostly cloudy and seasonably mild
      2011 -->  Hi 48  Low 24   Mostly sunny and seasonable
      2010 -->  Hi 34  Low 29   Cloudy/light snow in the morning      
      2009 -->  Hi 42  Low 19   Snowmelt/cloudy/late afternoon-night rain 
      2008 -->  Hi 59  Low 32   Partly sunny high occurred at midnight             
      2007 -->  Hi 50  Low 30   Partly sunny and mild            
      2006 -->  Hi 50  Low 30   Cloudy with afternoon and night rain
      2005 -->  Hi 42  Low 24   Cloudy with afternoon rain       
      2004 -->  Hi 31  Low 17   Sunny and cold
      2003 -->  Hi 41  Low 28   Mostly sunny and blustery
      2002 -->  Hi 38  Low 32   Rain with some snow/sleet
      2001 -->  Hi 40  Low 23   Partly sunny and cool
      2000 -->  Hi 27  Low 17   Sunny breezy and cold

For the very latest weather expectations for this Christmas,
consult our latest forecast at weather.gov/baltimore and our 
winter page weather.gov/baltimore/winter .

Happy holidays!!

$$

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