As the classic tune goes, “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas.” According to Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon, though, that dream is unlikely to come true anytime soon. As a Texas State Climatologist, he is an expert in his field, and says chances of having a snowy holiday season are slim.
Ft. Worth had snow on the ground on Christmas in 2012, and Lubbock had a white Christmas in 2011. In 2004, thanks to a coastal storm, there was snow as far south as Victoria. Brazos Country, however, is poorly situated for snowy weather. There has never been an officially recorded white Christmas in the county in its history. There was, however, an instance of snow within the month of December back in 1898. It does, however, snow on average once every three years in Brazos County. It has just never fallen on the holiday season.
“We’re fairly high up compared to the surrounding terrain,” says Dr. Nielsen-Gammon. “It can get a bit cooler here and the snow can stick around longer. But once you get much south of Dallas it’s hard to get air cold enough for snow as well as enough moisture in the air to produce snow.”
It has rained on Christmas, though. There have been four recorded instances of more than a quarter inch of rain on Christmas, the most recent in 2000. The hottest Christmas recorded in the area came in 1955 at 85 degrees. The coldest was in 1983 with temperatures between 25 and 11 degrees. Last year’s Christmas was the third warmest ever recorded, with a high of 78 and a low of 60 degrees.
“The odds of getting snow in December are about 1 in 50,” Dr. Nielsen-Gammon says with a laugh. “There’s a good chance of a white Christmas in the next millennium, if not for global warming.”
With odds being as they are, it would be advisable to not hold one’s breath over having snow in December. Still, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the holiday season in Brazos County. The season means more to people than just the weather, and there are multiple ways to celebrate!