RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — If you are dreaming of a white Christmas in Richmond, your best bet is to listen to Bing Crosby.
What is a “white Christmas”? Well, in Richmond, there is an actual definition for it, and that is having one inch of snow or more on the ground at 7 a.m. on Christmas morning at the Richmond International Airport, which is where the official measurements are taken.
By that definition, the last time we had a white Christmas in Richmond was in 2009, when 2” of snow was reported on the ground from a snowstorm that occurred about a week before. However, by the afternoon all the snow melted, as we had rain and temperatures in the 50s that day. Doesn’t that just sound like a Richmond Christmas?
Weather records have been kept in Richmond for well over a century and there have only been a handful of times when we have had a white Christmas. In fact, our chance of having a white Christmas is 7%.
What about getting snow on Christmas Day? Maybe that is a better chance, right? Yes, it is! The chance of snowing on Christmas Day from midnight to midnight is 8%. Most recently, that happened in 2010 when it started to snow on Christmas Day and continued into Dec. 26. And by midnight Christmas night we had an official measurement of 2.7 inches.
Rainfall on Christmas unfortunately happens about 34% of the time. We have had some rather rainy Christmas Days, with 2005 being the wettest as we picked up 1.70 inches of rain. In the list of the top five wettest Christmas Days, 2005 was the only day above an inch of rain.
As for temperatures, the normal high on Christmas Day in Richmond is 49 degrees, and the normal low is 31. You might remember a few years ago it was crazy warm on Christmas when we hit a high of 75. Did you know that we were in the 70s twice before Christmas Day? We did — in 1955 we hit 74 and in 1982, we topped out at 72.
We have also had a few very cold Christmases. In 1983 we only hit a high of 14! And that still wasn’t a white Christmas.
What about this year? Well, the weather pattern is very active, and we see a big cold snap setting up over the Dakotas and central Canada as we head closer to Christmas, so there is a chance! If you remember in John Bernier’s Winter Weather outlook, he listed a 13% chance, so fingers crossed for you snow lovers.