The prospects for a white Christmas in Iowa appear to be pretty slim. National Weather Service Meteorologist Kenny Podrazik says the generally accepted definition of a “White Christmas” is at least one inch of snow on the ground on the morning of December 25. “You know, there may be a little bit of snow tonight across northern Iowa, but we going to be pretty hard pressed to get an inch out of that,” Podrazik said.
In addition, even if snow does fly, temperatures will be too warm for the snow to stick through Christmas. According to Podrazik, this will likely be Iowa’s first Christmas since 2006 without any snow on the ground. Five years ago, Iowa had one of its snowiest Christmas days ever. “The 2009 Christmas is tied with 1895 with 8 inches of snow on the ground,” Podrazik said.
On Christmas day in 2009, Des Moines received 3.4 inches of snow. “That ranks third as the snowiest (Christmas) day in Des Moines,” Podrazik said. “The top year was 1909 with 4.1 inches and 1895 was 3.5 inches.” The deepest snow cover in Des Moines on Christmas morning, 17 inches, occurred in 1961. The coldest temperature recorded on Christmas day was 16-below-zero in 1879.
That warmest temperature in Des Moines on Christmas day, 58 degrees, came in 1936.