Thursday, December 26, 2013

Lincoln, NE, White Christmas Climatology

Christmas 2013 was a "Brown Christmas" with no snow on the ground in Lincoln, NE.  The photo below was taken on December 25, 2013 mid afternoon just east of Lincoln, NE.

How rare is it to have a "White Christmas" in Lincoln? 
The standard climatological definition of a "White Christmas" is "one or more inches of snow on the ground on Christmas morning".

Temperatures were also very mild on December 25, 2013 as noted in the following photograph taken in Lincoln early afternoon before the official high of 45F for the day.

Although monthly snowfall data for Lincoln extend back to January 1900, daily snowfall and snow cover data only exist back to January 1948.

White Christmases in Lincoln with snow depth and year of occurrence.

14 inches, 1983
11 inches, 2000
10 inches, 2009
 8 inches, 1973, 1952, 1948
 7 inches, 1968
 5 inches, 1961, 1951
 3 inches, 2008
 2 inches, 2012, 1997, 1981, 1980, 1969, 1962
 1 inch,   2007, 2001, 1974, 1957, 1949

This is a total of 21 years out of 66 years (1948-2013) or only 32 % of the past 66 years had a "White Christmas" in Lincoln, NE.  The following is a graph showing the snow depth on the ground in Lincoln, NE, on December 25 for 1948 through 2013.

Christmas Day December 2009 near Lincoln, NE, after a snowstorm struck eastern Nebraska

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