With snow on the ground and Arctic temperatures sweeping south, Kansas City will enjoy a white Christmas this week. It is fairly unusual because Kansas City has only had a white Christmas once every five years on average.
While the region did not receive more than a few inches of powdery snow, the frigid temperatures are expected to prevent it from melting.
That’s not unusual when it happens. Most of Kansas City’s white Christmases don’t actually feature accumulating snow on Christmas Day itself but rather snow that’s still on the ground having fallen a few days earlier, according to KSHB-TV. The National Weather Service’s office in Kansas City looked back to 1952 and found 52 of the last 70 (74 percent) Christmases have had no snow, and no new snow fall. Eleven Christmases had between 1 and 3 inches of snow on the ground, with five more having at least 3 inches on the ground.
The most recent white Christmas in Kansas City came back in 2017 when at least an inch of snow was on the ground. Kansas City saw back-to-back white Christmases in 2012 and 2013, with more than three inches of snow on the ground in 2013. Perhaps the most memorable recent white Christmas in Kansas City came in 2009, when many locations across northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri picked up several inches of snow, starting on Christmas Eve. The snowfall led to travel headaches across the Midwest.
The 2009 Christmas was the third Christmas in a row where snow was around on Christmas Day. The 2007 snowfall also led to widespread travel concerns, including flight delays at Kansas City International Airport.
According to FOX4 Meteorologist Joe Lauria, a white Christmas requires at least 1 inch of snow on the ground on Christmas Day. It could be snow that has already fallen or that falls on the day itself.
“If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones you used to know, where treetops glisten and children listen, we might be able to help you out with one of those,” KMBC-TV reported. The region remains in a weather emergency as wind chills reach down to -20 during the day on Friday.
There is a slight chance of snow on Christmas Day but it would begin around 10 pm. That would still count as snowfall for the day according to meteorologists.
–Dwight Widaman | MV