|Some of the more memorable Christmas Days weatherwise in recent years include…1955:The high of 54 was above average, but was a 32-degree drop-off from the previous
day. A high of 86 on Christmas Eve was 38 degrees above the long-term average,
and still stands as the all-time record high temperature for December.
1975: Rain changed to snow on Christmas Eve, with heavy snow falling
that afternoon and continuing into early Christmas morning.
Nearly 3 inches fell during the storm, but temperatures hovered
just above freezing, and much of the snow melted when it
reached the ground.
1983: Bitter cold with wind chills as low as 27 below occurred during
the pre-dawn hours of Christmas Day. The high of 13 was an
improvement over the previous day, as the high on
Christmas Eve was 3 above zero. The low was zero,
and wind chills dropped as low as minus 45 as
north winds gusted to 38 mph.
1987: Freezing rain and sleet began before sunrise, and was the start
of an infamous 2-day ice storm that left parts of Oklahoma
without power for over a week. Sleet prevailed across
the western and northern parts of Oklahoma City,
while freezing rain devastated southern and eastern parts
of the metro area. Despite heavy sleet and
ice accumulations of up to 2 inches, total snowfall was only a trace.
1989: Christmas Day was a sunny, mild day with
temperatures in the 50s. But what made this Christmas memorable
was the dramatic warm-up that was in progress.
Three days earlier the temperature fell to minus 4,
a new all-time record low for December.
Winds of 20 mph at the time dropped wind chills
to near 50 below. The next night, the December
low temperature record was broken again
when the temperature fell to minus 8.
Two days later on Christmas Day, the
temperature reached 57, giving Oklahoma City
a 65-degree warm-up in two days.
2000: A major winter storm affected much
of Oklahoma on December 25-26, with impacts
similar to the storm in 1987. The storm began
on Christmas Day across the region, with
significant accumulations of snow and ice
occurring Christmas night and into
December 26. Heavy snow, accumulating
8 to 12 inches, fell across
northwest Oklahoma. Meanwhile, a combination
of snow, sleet, and freezing rain fell
across west-central, central and north-central
Oklahoma, with accumulations ranging from
2 to as much as 8 inches. One of the worst
ice storms to ever affect the state of Oklahoma
occurred in south-central and southeast Oklahoma,
where ice and sleet accumulations from 1 to 2 inches
were common. Statewide, around 170,000 residents
were without electricity right after the storm,
and power was not restored in some locations
until almost 2 weeks later.
2009: Although no snow technically fell on
Christmas Day, the record-setting blizzard that
affected a large part of Oklahoma on
Christmas Eve was fresh on everyone’s mind.
Snow accumulated between 5 and 7 inches
from southwest into central Oklahoma,
with several locations reporting more than 10 inches!
The snowstorm was made worse by the near
continuous winds that were sustained
near 40 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph.
All major highways were shut down by
early afternoon, stranding thousands
of holiday travelers and last-minute
Christmas shoppers. The snow
finally moved east during the
early evening hours, leaving
behind snow drifts as high
as five feet, and streets
littered with abandoned cars.