Extreme Temperature Diary- December 25th, 2018/ Topic: Another Mild U.S. Christmas

Tuesday December 25th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing post will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials)😊. 

Another Mild U.S. Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone!

As I peruse weather charts this morning and as forecast here: https://guyonclimate.com/2018/12/18/extreme-temperature-diary-december-17th-2018-topic-mild-and-stormy-weather-ahead-for-u-s-before-christmas/ , it strikes me that most Christmases in the past 30 or so years have been getting warmer across the United States, but very subtly so such that the public isn’t complaining much. In fact most today can get out and enjoy tranquil but somewhat brisk conditions after presents have been unwrapped and church services have been attended. Older folk, though, may remark about their times as children experiencing colder, whiter Christmases…and indeed looking at this recent Weather Underground post Mother Nature has produced some whopper yuletide snow storms in the past:

It struck me that weather historian Chris Burt did not reference a remarkable Christmas snow storm in the article after 1983.  More information quoted from this article: 

The probability of snow on Christmas Day

An excellent article in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS), penned by Imke Durre and Michael F. Squires in 2015, used NOAA’s daily normals database for the 1981-2010 period to analyze the odds of a white Christmas for the contiguous U.S. They looked at what percentage of Christmases saw a measurable snowfall (0.1” or more) and what percentage had at least 1” of snowfall on the ground.

 Below are the results in both table and map form.

Probability of 1” or more of snow on the ground on Christmas Day

Figure 1. Probability of 1” or more of snow on the ground on Christmas Day. Image credit: Imke Durre and Michael F. Squires, “White Christmas? An Application of NOAA’s 1981–2010 Daily Normals,” BAMS (November 2015).

This morning’s snow cover map depicts a CONUS with below average snow cover. Pay attention to the >75% and >50-75% lines in the above chart when looking at the one from below:


Last night, as is a holiday tradition, I watched “A Christmas Story,” which was a 1983 film about a cute family living in Indiana during the 1940s at Christmas time. You saw plenty of snow in the film. If Ralphie, the central character, were growing up in today’s Indiana he would be experiencing a brown Christmas. Bah Humbug. 

Here are today’s forecast maxes on Christmas Day 2018:

The only bone chilling cold is located around the U.S. Canadian border. Most locations will not see short sleeve weather, but will be above 1981-2010 temperature averages:

Now I cannot definitively write that this mild Christmas was caused by carbon pollution. That’s not how weather and climate change always interact. What I can write is that the odds of seeing mild, snowless Christmases are rising. Yes, though, I do expect to see at least a few more cold, white Christmases in the future..,just as long as global averages don’t surpass a +1.5C-+2.0C threshold above preindustrial conditions. Chalk up another mild one, though, in 2018 with that figure floating around +1.1C.

On the glass half full side this mild Christmas is making for great traveling conditions and is allowing folks to get out and about to enjoy all outdoor activities without too much discomfort. The West has plenty of powder for ski resorts…at least here the warm climate change bug is not biting yet. Enjoy the rest of this very special day. I’ll be writing about forecast U.S. trends going into New Years on Boxers Day.


Here is some more weather and climate news from Tuesday:

(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity.)

This item is too funny.🤣🤣🤣



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The Climate Guy

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