Not only is there a zero chance of snow for Christmas Day, temperatures will feel down right balmy — at least for the holiday season, according to the National Weather Service in North Little Rock.
The forecast high is 69 degrees, with a 20 percent chance of rain, forecasters are predicting. By nightfall, the rain chance increases to 50 percent, with the possibility of some thunderstorms and a low of 61 degrees.
In all, snow on Christmas has occurred only a dozen times in the past 140 years, according to the NWS website. Prior to 2012’s record snow storms that dumped nearly a foot of snow on Little Rock and up to 15 inches elsewhere in Arkansas on Christmas, the last Christmas Day snowfall resulting in measurable snow was in 1926.
Warm Christmases are far more normal for our area of the nation. The Christmas Day record high temperature occurred in 1942, when the mercury hit 73 degrees, according to the NWS.
Last year also saw unusually warm temperatures at Christmastime, with highs near 70.
Several Pine Bluff residents who were out shopping on Thursday afternoon said that their Christmas spirit dwindled a little when they learned of the weather forecast. Judy Jackson said she had planned on buying herself a new winter coat but will hold off because of the higher temperatures.
“We had that cold snap, and now it’s getting hot again,” she said. “Unfortunately, that’s nothing new for Arkansas.”
Robert Valentine said he has hoped for a snowy Christmas since his son was born two years ago. He said he purchased a sled that’s “just sitting in the garage.” If there’s no snow on Christmas next year, he said he may visit his brother, who lives in Minnesota.
For fun, there is a website called willigetawhitechristmas.com that allows users to enter their hometowns to see if a white Christmas is a possibility. So far, the best chances are in, you guessed it, the northern tier of the United States and Alaska.
“The only way we are going to get a white Christmas is by playing Bing Crosby,” Valentine joked, referring to the famous crooner’s hit ballad “White Christmas.” “But that’s all right. I still have my Christmas spirit and a can of fake snow.”