Christmas Day Trivia for OKC

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT…CORRECTED…
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORMAN OK
130 PM CDT MON DEC 24 2007

…CHRISTMAS DAY WEATHER FACTS FOR OKLAHOMA CITY…

THE FOLLOWING ARE SOME NUMBERS RELATED TO CHRISTMAS DAY WEATHER IN
OKLAHOMA CITY. THE NUMBERS ARE BASED ON RECORDS GOING BACK TO
1890.

CATEGORY AVERAGE WARMEST COLDEST

HIGH TEMPERATURE 48 73 IN 1922 13 IN 1983

LOW TEMPERATURE 27 49 IN 1936 -1 IN 1983

TOTAL PRECIPITATION (1890-2006):
2.22 INCHES

TOTAL SNOWFALL (1890-2006):
7.3 INCHES

WETTEST CHRISTMAS:
1987 – PRECIPITATION TOTALED 1.05 INCHES OF LIQUID WATER
EQUIVALENT…BUT ALL OF THE PRECIPITATION WAS FREEZING RAIN…
SLEET…AND SNOW.

WHITEST CHRISTMAS:
1914 – 6.5 INCHES OF SNOW FELL.

PERCENTAGE OF YEARS WITH PRECIPITATION:
22% – 26 OUT OF 117

PERCENTAGE OF YEARS RECORDING A TRACE OR MORE OF SNOWFALL:
8.5% – 10 OUT OF 117

PERCENTAGE OF YEARS RECORDING 0.1 INCHES OR MORE OF SNOWFALL:
2.6% – 3 OUT OF 117

PERCENTAGE OF YEARS WITH AT LEAST A TRACE OF SNOW ON THE GROUND ON
CHRISTMAS MORNING:
10% – 12 OUT OF 117

PERCENTAGE OF YEARS WITH AN INCH OR MORE OF SNOW ON THE GROUND ON
CHRISTMAS MORNING (A TRUE “WHITE CHRISTMAS”):
5% – 6 OUT OF 117

YEARS WITH SNOWFALL YEARS WITH SNOW ON GROUND
ON CHRISTMAS DAY (INCHES) ON CHRISTMAS MORNING (INCHES)
1913 TRACE 1913 TRACE
1914 6.5 1914 6
1937 TRACE 1918 5
1939 0.3 1924 3
1948 TRACE 1939 TRACE
1952 TRACE 1943 1
1962 TRACE 1962 TRACE
1975 0.5 1975 1
1987 TRACE 1983 TRACE
2000 TRACE 1987 TRACE
1990 TRACE
2002 2

SOME OF THE MORE MEMORABLE CHRISTMAS DAYS WEATHERWISE IN RECENT
YEARS INCLUDE…

1955: THE HIGH OF 54 WAS ABOVE AVERAGE…BUT WAS A 32-DEGREE
DROP-OFF FROM THE PREVIOUS DAY. A HIGH OF 86 ON CHRISTMAS EVE WAS 38
DEGREES ABOVE THE LONG-TERM AVERAGE…AND STILL STANDS AS THE
ALL-TIME RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE FOR DECEMBER.

1975: RAIN CHANGED TO SNOW ON CHRISTMAS EVE…WITH HEAVY SNOW
FALLING THAT AFTERNOON AND CONTINUING INTO EARLY CHRISTMAS MORNING.
NEARLY 3 INCHES FELL DURING THE STORM…BUT TEMPERATURE HOVERED JUST
ABOVE FREEZING…AND MUCH OF THE SNOW MELTED WHEN IT REACHED THE
GROUND.

1983: BITTER COLD WITH WIND CHILLS AS LOW AS 27 BELOW OCCURRED
DURING THE PRE-DAWN HOURS ON CHRISTMAS DAY. THE HIGH OF 13 WAS AN
IMPROVEMENT OVER THE PREVIOUS DAY…AS THE HIGH ON CHRISTMAS EVE
WAS 3 ABOVE ZERO. THE LOW WAS ZERO…AND WIND CHILLS DROPPED AS LOW
AS MINUS 45 AS NORTH WINDS GUSTED TO 38 MPH.

1987: FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET BEGAN BEFORE SUNRISE…AND WAS THE
START OF AN INFAMOUS TWO DAY ICE STORM THAT LEFT PARTS OF OKLAHOMA
WITHOUT POWER FOR OVER A WEEK. SLEET PREVAILED ACROSS THE WESTERN
AND NORTHERN PARTS OF OKLAHOMA CITY…WHILE FREEZING RAIN DEVASTATED
SOUTHERN AND EASTERN PARTS OF THE METRO AREA. DESPITE HEAVY SLEET
AND ICE ACCUMULATIONS OF UP TO 2 INCHES…TOTAL SNOWFALL WAS ONLY A
TRACE.

1989: CHRISTMAS DAY WAS A SUNNY…MILD DAY WITH TEMPERATURES IN THE
50S. BUT WHAT MADE THIS CHRISTMAS MEMORABLE WAS THE DRAMATIC WARM-UP
THAT WAS IN PROGRESS. THREE DAYS EARLIER THE TEMPERATURE FELL TO
4 DEGREES BELOW ZERO…A NEW ALL-TIME RECORD LOW FOR DECEMBER. WINDS
OF 20 MPH AT THE TIME DROPPED WIND CHILLS TO NEAR 50 BELOW ZERO. THE
NEXT NIGHT… THE DECEMBER LOW TEMPERATURE RECORD WAS BROKEN AGAIN
WHEN THE TEMPERATURE FELL TO 8 DEGREES BELOW ZERO. TWO DAYS LATER ON
CHRISTMAS DAY…THE TEMPERATURE REACHED 57…GIVING OKLAHOMA CITY A
65-DEGREE WARM-UP IN TWO DAYS.

2000: A MAJOR WINTER STORM AFFECTED MUCH OF OKLAHOMA ON DECEMBER
25-26…WITH IMPACTS SIMILAR TO THE STORM IN 1987. THE STORM BEGAN
ON CHRISTMAS DAY ACROSS THE REGION…WITH SIGNIFICANT ACCUMULATIONS
OF SNOW AND ICE OCCURRING CHRISTMAS NIGHT AND INTO DECEMBER 26.
HEAVY SNOW…ACCUMULATING 8 TO 12 INCHES…FELL ACROSS NORTHWEST
OKLAHOMA. MEANWHILE…A COMBINATION OF SNOW…SLEET…AND FREEZING RAIN
FELL ACROSS WEST-CENTRAL…CENTRAL AND NORTH-CENTRAL OKLAHOMA…WITH
ACCUMULATIONS RANGING FROM 2 TO AS MUCH AS 8 INCHES. ONE OF THE
WORST ICE STORMS TO EVER AFFECT THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA OCCURRED IN
SOUTH-CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST OKLAHOMA…WHERE ICE AND SLEET
ACCUMULATIONS FROM 1 TO 2 INCHES WERE COMMON. STATEWIDE… AROUND
170,000 RESIDENTS WERE WITHOUT ELECTRICITY RIGHT AFTER THE
STORM…AND POWER WAS NOT RESTORED IN SOME LOCATIONS UNTIL ALMOST 2
WEEKS LATER.

$$

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About Putnam Reiter

Putnam has been storm chasing since 1990 and is a co-founder of Hook-Echo.com. For his day job, Putnam works in emergency management for information technology.
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