AUSTIN (KXAN) — With such warm weather so far this December, it may be hard to think about the possibility of snow on Christmas Day in Austin.

Snow measured on Christmas Day

Back on Dec. 25, 1939 a trace of snowfall was measured in Austin. That is the only day a trace or more of snow has been reported as falling in Austin on Christmas Day since snowfall measurements began in 1898.

On that Christmas Day in 1939, it was hardly cold enough for snow to have much of a chance. The low temperature recorded that day was 39 degrees with a high of 43. Generally, snow has to be falling rather heavily for it to not melt before reaching the ground with temperatures that “mild.”

The “whitest” Christmas in Austin, however, was 10 years earlier in 1929 when a trace of snow depth was measured on Christmas Day. This meant there was a small amount of snow leftover from a previous storm that was still on the ground, even for a short time. It started cold on Christmas Day of 1929, with a low in Austin of 37 degrees, but it also warmed significantly to 67 degrees.

Near misses

If you’re wondering about the biggest meaningful snowfall accumulation closest to Christmas, on Dec. 21, 1929 it snowed 5.5 inches in Austin. It was that snowstorm that was responsible for a trace of snow on the ground Christmas Day of that year.

On the same day (Dec. 21) in 1927, we had 0.6 inches of new snow fall in Austin.

It was too late for a White Christmas on Dec. 28 in 1928 when 1 inch of new snow fell in Austin.

The official definition of a “White Christmas” is 1 inch of snow on the ground during the morning observation by the National Weather Service Christmas Day.

What’s average Christmas Day weather?

  • Average high on Christmas Day: 62
  • Average low on Christmas Day: 42
  • Wettest Christmas: 1.52 inches of rain in the year 2000
  • Hottest Christmas: 90 degrees in 1955
  • Coldest Christmas: High of 25 and a low of 10 in 1983