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Weather IQ: How often it actually snows on Christmas in Charlotte

Dreaming of a White Christmas? Well, you may be dreaming for a while. Charlotte has only had measurable snow 4 times over 143 years of record keeping on Dec. 25

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Before we get into the numbers, let's answer an important question. "What is a White Christmas?" Some consider it to be a White Christmas simply if snow is falling but the OFFICIAL definition is: "having one inch or more of snow on the ground during December 25th".

This definition makes a White Christmas far from common around the Carolinas. Since Charlotte record-keeping began in 1878, there has been a measurable snowfall on Christmas Day only four times. That's only 2.8%!

However, there has been a trace of snow seven times but that means nothing stuck. 

The snowiest Christmas was in 1947 when 5.8" of snow fell. The second snowiest was 4 inches of snow in 1880. These are the only two years that over an inch of snow fell on Christmas. That means using our definition... There has only been an OFFICIAL White Christmas TWO times in Charlotte history.

The last time it snowed on Christmas was 2010.

On this day, only 0.4" of snow fell but another 1.6" fell on the 26th.

Credit: WCNC

All of North Carolina was snow covered by the 27th and pictures like this were taken in Charleston South Carolina.

So crunching the numbers, Measurable snowfall happens on average every 36 years in Charlotte. And a chance of at least seeing some snowflakes fly happens every 13 years. This is all based on 143 years of record keeping. 

So even though a White Christmas is not likely for 2021, we all hope you enjoy the holiday. 

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