How Unusual was this Year's Christmas Snow?

December 27, 2010; 12:21 PM ET
Share |
A home in Ringgold, Ga. with 3.5 inches on the ground Christmas Day. Photo submitted by Facebook fan William M.

Before much of the Northeast was hit with a debilitating blizzard, millions of people across the country enjoyed a white Christmas.

However, although the snow cover this year was less than it was last year, this year's snow was unique and rare due to the fact that snow reached as far as the Deep South, something that did not occur last year.

The average snow coverage by Christmas Day is usually between 25 and 35 percent, according to Meteorologist Heather Buchman.

According to the National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center (NOHRSC), 50.2 percent of the contiguous United States had snow cover on Christmas morning, confirming Chief Long Range Forecaster Joe Bastardi's forecast. Bastardi has been calling for more than 50 percent snow coverage on Christmas day since the beginning of December.

This map shows snow cover on the morning of Dec. 25, 2010. Courtesy of NOHRSC.

In addition, at least 46 states reported snowfall and/or snow cover within their borders on Christmas Day. This includes Hawaii, Georgia and Alabama.

The morning of December 26 had 52.9 percent snow cover, owing to the fact that many areas in the East and South had snowfall during Christmas Day.

This percentage is considerably less than Christmas morning 2009, when 63 percent of the Lower 48 had snow cover. With the exception of Texas, most of the South remained untouched.

This map shows snow cover on the morning of Dec. 25, 2009. Courtesy of NOHRSC.


Comments left here should adhere to the Community Guidelines. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.

More Weather News

  • Cooldown to Invade Midwest, Northeast This Week

    April 21, 2015; 8:45 AM ET

    After a period of above-average temperatures across most of the Midwest and Northeast last week, a complete reversal in the weather pattern will move in this week.

Daily U.S. Extremes

past 24 hours

  Extreme Location
High N/A
Low N/A
Precip N/A


This Day In Weather History

Lander, WY (1963)
20" snow; many livestock perished.

Havre, MT (1967)
17" of snow.

Midland, TX (1989)
101 degrees -- first 100 degree or higher reading in April since 1930.