Ghosts of Christmas past

Viewer snow picture of Christmas 2004 (Copyright 2022 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

Different Christmas mornings are remembered for many reasons and, hopefully, not for the weather! With any luck, you recall that first toy train, or doll, or reunions...engagements and celebrations! Saying that, I like to check out the data for the extremes of weather and decided to look not only at Houston’s full historical record, but also to this century (as in the last 21 years).

Interestingly, two of our extremes for Christmas actually occurred since 2001. Here’s a look:

Very cold and very warm, usually dry!

A lot of you will remember that snow of 2004, especially south of Houston. In Galveston, they built snowmen on the beach! You can check out more of that event on our Click2Houston site right here.

And, no surprise, that is still the most and ONLY White Christmas morning any of us have had in Houston although we came very close in 1989 and 1929. Houston’s National Weather Service has a dedicated Christmas Climate page here.

For this century, obviously 83° still stands as our warmest, but we’ve had a few years for coldest: 2002, 2004 and 2009 all dropped to freezing!

Our extremes have not been too strong for cold and rain!

For the most part, I hear about how warm our Christmas days have become, but truthfully the record bears out many more cold mornings for Santa than warm. Here’s a full look for each Dec. 25 at Bush/IAH since 2001:

Cold mornings continue to prevail on Christmas

Out of 21 years, 16 Christmas mornings have been at or below 45°, which is about our average. I thought it interesting that the other five Christmas mornings were 60° or above! We don’t show any mornings in the 50s! On the other hand, wearing that Christmas sweater really requires temperatures in the 50s or below and our Christmas afternoons have more often than not been warmer than that!

You can see that for the most part, our Christmas days have been dry!

I know there is a lot of buzz about this coming Christmas weekend and the chance for a really cold one. The models continue to flip-flop on just how cold, but we’ll start getting a clearer picture Monday. In the meantime, enjoy a Christmas cool weekend starting now!

Sunday looks splendid for the first day of Hanukkah!


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About the Authors:

KPRC 2's chief meteorologist with four decades of experience forecasting Houston's weather.

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.