Tuesday, December 1, 2015

White Christmas in Birmingham, AL?

Each year as Christmas approaches, people begin to dream of a traditional white Christmas.  But in central Alabama...it remains only a dream.

For Birmingham, where over 100 years worth of weather records are kept by the National Weather Service, there has never been a truly white Christmas.  The closest we have come was in 2010 when on Christmas day there was a mixture of snow and rain that fell for a couple of hours.  However, there was no accumulation.  Birminghamians had to be content with watching the snow fall and looking at the thin accumulation of snow on our rooftops and the very tops of the grass.

Below is a shot of the Wedding Chapel on the Mountain.  It was not taken on Christmas Day..but it does represent what we all want to see when we wake.

The newspapers called the December 25, 2010 weather a "rare snowstorm".   Other media outlets called it "The first White Christmas in the history of Birmingham".   It caused multiple accidents and the few businesses that were open that day closed early or didn't open at all.  Below is a picture of the accumulation of snow.  Not much to see is there?

Here's another picture of the accumulation in 2010.  Notice the walkways and driveway is 100% snow free.  For those not from Birmingham, it was not shoveled or cleared.  We don't do that down here.  It's just that the ground was so warm the snow only stuck to the tops of the grass and roofs of the houses.

  On December 22, 1929, Birmingham actually received 5.5 inches of snow.  December 22 is close enough...don't you think?  By December 24, we still have 2.5 inches left.  However, Christmas Day, the temperatures were 51 degrees so by nightfall all that was left was slug and slush.

Usually Christmas Day in Birmingham, AL is clear and warm or at a minimum warmish.  We show up to relative's homes in short sleeves or at a maximum wearing a sweater.  Christmas Day 1979, a group of us actually went swimming.  It's not Florida weather, but it's good weather.

This is really one of the things that I love most about this area.  I don't want a white Christmas that will keep my family away or at a minimum make it difficult or dangerous for them to get to my house.  I like that we don't get our snowfalls until February or March.  Normally we get one or maybe two nice snowfalls per year.  I'm really good with that.  I get to enjoy a snowfall each year but not so much snow that it impacts or greatly inconveniences my life.  It's a win win in my book!

Merry Christmas to everyone!!