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Blast of Winter’s Past – The rare “white Christmas”


As Thanksgiving week approaches, we see the coldest air of the season so far! It will be a bit like winter throughout the region with lows falling back into the 1920s with some areas experiencing severe frost. It got me thinking, how many times have we actually seen snow on Christmas Day here in the Tennessee Valley?

Here in the Tennessee Valley, there have been many years where we have seen a trace of snow on Christmas Day. Here in the Huntsville area, there have only been two times that we have seen measurable snowfall on Christmas Day. The first was during a snow event in 1989 when we saw 0.30 inches of snow. The main snow event we saw in the area was the 2010 snowstorm which resulted in 2.5 inches in Huntsville and 2.4 inches in Muscle Shoals. It was the only time Muscle Shoals had a White Christmas.

Snowstorm of 2010

Here in the Tennessee Valley a white Christmas is rare, but in 2010 it was a white Christmas for everyone! Many residents woke up this Christmas morning with a blanket of snow, a gift from Mother Nature. A large area of ​​low pressure moved east across the northern Gulf of Mexico on Christmas Eve and early Christmas morning. At the same time, a weak elevation disturbance approached the region from the west.

The photos above show radar imagery for December 25, 2010 at 3 a.m., 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Looking at the progression of this band of snow, winter precipitation first occurred in northwestern Alabama and then shifted east. During this time, a large area of ​​moderate to heavy snow developed and slowly moved across the Tennessee Valley. In the thickest bands of snow, visibility has dropped to 800 meters or less! It was certainly a Christmas that most in the region will always remember.

Find out more about the “rare white Christmas”

Blast of Winter’s Past – The rare “white Christmas”

Temperatures between the low to mid-1930s, humidity and a forcing mechanism helped support winter precipitation in the region. The precipitation initially started as a light rain / snow mix, but as temperatures continued to drop below freezing it turned to snow. Even though it was a light snowfall in some places, when all was said and done some places had seen six to seven inches of snow!

As the winter season approaches, you can count on News 19 Weather Authority to keep you up to date with the forecast!


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