White Christmas In Texas (Last Snow Years)

Read In: 7 minutes

Texas is known for many things, but snow isn’t one of them. The Lone Star State ranks fourth among the warmest states year-round throughout the nation. While winter brings about a drop in temperature, it’s typically mild, if not generous, during the cooler months, from November until January. 

Many people head to Texas during winter to break from the harsh winters elsewhere. A white Christmas in Texas is a rarity, but it happens occasionally. Occasionally, certain parts of Texas experience ice storms, freezing temperatures, and snow. 

A White Christmas In Texas Is Extremely Rare - Texas View

White Christmas In Texas

In our favorite festive movies, there always seems to be a white Christmas. The holiday season is a magical time of year, and something about a crisp, clean, and fluffy carpet of white snow that makes it all the more special. But in reality, most states don’t have snow at Christmas or even at all during winter. 

Every year, only 12 states are expected to have snow. Any more than this, and you’re witnessing something irregular. Having fewer than 12 snowy states in any given year is expected. Unfortunately for those looking for a white Christmas in Texas, this southern state has not had many. 

Given that Texas rarely experiences snow during winter, it’s even more unlikely to fall on the 24th or 25th of December. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) created a scientific definition of a white Christmas. 

According to NOAA, it’s only a proper white Christmas if at least one inch of snow falls on the ground on the 24th or the 25th of December. However, if you live in the state of Texas, abiding by this rule could mean that there are rarely, if ever, white Christmases. 

According to the statistics, if you’re after a snowy winter, there are certain places you should go. For example, Aspen in Colorado has a 100% historical probability of snow on Christmas, alongside a few other locations. But on the other end of the scale, certain places have a statistically low possibility of snow.

Southern California, New Mexico, the Gulf Coast, and lower elevation sections of Arizona all have historical probabilities of 0% for a white Christmas. Although the likelihood of snow in Texas is low, it’s certainly not zero. Over the years, plenty of places have had snow come Christmas morning. 

READ   Is Texas Safe to Live? Discover the Lone Star State's Crime, Health and Wealth

So, look at the history of white Christmases in Texas and consider where you’ll most likely experience one. 

Aerial view heavy snow covered residential houses roofs and cars at neighborhood street near Dallas Texas USA. Subdivision suburban detached homes with large backyard after blizzard storm. - Texas View

When Has There Been A White Christmas In Texas?

Although there has been snow in Texas over the past few years, there hasn’t been a white Christmas for over a decade. Since records began in 1841, only 24 snowy Christmases in Texas have been recorded. There’s no clear pattern, with random time variances between each. 

While we won’t go back to the 1800s, let’s look at the last 10 white Christmases in the Lone Star State, dating back to 1975. Note that all of these reports are in the north of Texas. Along the Gulf Coast and the Mexican border, there’s statistically slim to no chance of snow ever. 

A young man lying in the snow making a snow angel - Texas View

Also, despite snowfall on each occasion, many wouldn’t technically count as “white Christmases” according to the NOAA definition.

1975:

It was a wet winter in ‘75, and much of the days surrounding Christmas were filled with rain, especially in northern Texas. In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, there was a mixture of rain and snow on December 23rd. As temperatures continued to plummet, the cold turned the water to snow, and there was significant snow overnight. 

On the morning of December 24th, the ground was covered in a thin layer of snow, with much of it melting as it landed. Snow continued throughout the day, and some had to be cleared from the runway of Dallas Fort Worth airport. 

1983:

After ‘75, there wasn’t another white Christmas for eight years. In ‘83, northern Texas experienced a bitter cold wave. In the days leading up to Christmas, snowfall was reported in the Dallas-Fortworth Metroplex. From December 18th to the 30th, the DFW Airport mercury meter remained below freezing. 

On Christmas, there was some snowfall, but the area was by no means a snowy paradise. It may have been too cold for snow. Some lakes in the DFW area reportedly froze during the final few weeks of December. 

1990:

Again, there was a significant time lapse between white Christmases after ‘83. Texas didn’t experience snow for another seven years, aside from sleat or snowflakes that didn’t stick on the ground. 1990 was another cold year, and there were several snow flurries over the last few weeks of December in northern Texas. 

The 23rd was one of the coldest days of the snap. This was when most of the significant snowfall occurred. There was only around a quarter inch, but because of the cold, much of it remained on the ground through the 24th. In shaded areas, you could find some patches of snow on Christmas Day. 

READ   Texas and Oklahoma (Friends or Rivals)

1997:

Texas experienced one of its worst-ever ice storms in 1997. Even areas in the southern part of the state and along the coast were freezing. The ice froze power lines and even collapsed small structures and sections of people’s homes. 

The severe weather started in late December, and there was snow, ice, and rain on Christmas Day that year. However, plummeting temperatures and extreme storms didn’t start until January. 

1998:

A year after one of the worst winters in state history, Texas was hit with another cold festive season, but nowhere near as bad as ‘97. In the days leading up to Christmas, there was rain, sleet, and snow all over Texas. 

Rain and frost continued in Central Texas on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It was one of the coldest Christmases in memory for people living in that part of the state. 

Winter Time snow - Texas View

2000:

Just three years after one of the most severe ice storms in Texas history, another hit in December of 2000. In northern areas, there was heavy rain and sleet on Christmas Day. However, the northeast experienced freezing temperatures and a severe ice storm between the 25th and 27th of December. 

Certain homes lost power for several days, making for a tough holiday season. During high winds, trees fell, especially in the forested areas of the northeast. This wasn’t the type of white Christmas depicted in the movies. 

2002:

After a few years of dreadful winter conditions, 2002 was quite a lovely Christmas for those looking for a cold but pleasant festive season. In several parts of northern and central Texas, including the Dallas and Fort Worth Metroplex, there were flurries of snow throughout Christmas Eve. 

Locals could enjoy a light dusting of snow without the accompanying ice storms that had taken place in the late ‘90s and 2000. 

2004:

Perhaps one of the most fairytale white Christmases in Texas occurred in 2004. In the week leading up to Christmas, it began to snow heavily, with up to two inches of snow falling in the north and central part of the state. There were even four inches reported in the city of Stephenville. 

Freezing temperatures persisted into Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Due to the heavy snowfall, much of northern and central Texas was still covered in snow, making for a beautiful white Christmas.

2009:

A very rare blizzard occurred in the northwest in ‘09, just outside the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex on Christmas Eve. There were cold temperatures, 50mph winds, and heavy snow in the area. Some areas experienced snowfall piled as high as nine inches (between Jacksboro and Bowie).

READ   Measuring Texas: The Scale and Scope of the Lone Star State Compared

Certain sections of the U.S. Highway 287 could not be passed through because of the snow and wind from Christmas Even into Christmas Day. Dallas Fort Worth Airport recorded three inches of snow on Christmas Eve, which was a record. Montague Country was covered in snow until the beginning of the new year.

2012:

On Christmas Day, a cold front caused an array of thunderstorms to form in north, west, and central Texas. The storms mainly carried hail. However, snow also fell in several areas, including Breckenridge, Palestine, Denton Country, and Colin Country. There was approximately four to six inches of snowfall in these parts. 

So, depending on where you were that year, you had a white or wet Christmas. There were no significant disruptions to traffic or roads during this cold period. 

2012-present:

Since 2012, there have been several harsh winters and snow flurries throughout Texas. However, there hasn’t been a white Christmas. Perhaps the next is just around the corner. 

Ciudad Juarez Chihuahua Mexico February 2022 snow mountain and highway panorama - Texas View

Where Can You Enjoy A White Christmas In Texas?

The Texas Christmas forecast can be unpredictable. As you can see from the records, some years there is extreme weather with snow, ice storms, and strong winds. Yet, several years can go by with mild winters throughout the state. 

That said, Christmas is a big deal in Texas. Many cities and towns go out of their way to put on fantastic Christmas shows, from winter wonderlands to light displays and Christmas markets to ice skating. You can even find fake snow at some of these events, adding to the ambiance. 

If you want to visit a Texas city with a genuine and authentic Christmas spirit and a (fake) white Christmas, check out Grapevine (the Christmas capital of Texas), Fredericksburg, San Antonio, College Station, and Galveston. 

TORNADO ALLEY - Texas Hotbed: Understanding the Reality

References

Author Profile
Christian Linden Texas View Headshot 3 - Texas View
Author at Texas View | Texas View

Christian Linden is a seasoned writer and contributor at Texas View, specializing in topics that resonate with the Texan community. With over a decade of experience in journalism, Christian brings a wealth of knowledge in local politics, culture, and lifestyle. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Texas. When he's not writing, Christian enjoys spending weekends traveling across Texas with his family, exploring everything from bustling cities to serene landscapes.

Share me 🙂

Read these ...