First Alert Weather In-Depth: Was it snowier on Christmas back then?

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — One of the weather stories this week, leading up to Christmas, is the fact that we will have a “green” Christmas this year.

Unfortunate, as many want to see snow for the holiday. With that said, many folks believe that it snowed more on Christmas years ago then it does now, but the data say otherwise. News10NBC will break down decade by decade, starting off from 1930, the amount of white Christmases and show that there is virtually no change from back then and now

First, lets start off with how often Rochester typically sees a white Christmas. Statistically it only occurs 56% of the time. This is basically a 50/50 shot of seeing snow on the ground or not for the holiday.

The last 10 years fit within that statistic too, as five out of the last 10 were white Christmases. To go further, let’s go decade by decade and list the amount of years within that decade in which we had a white Christmas.

1930s: 5/10

1940s: 6/10

1950s: 5/10

1960s: 7/10

1970s: 6/10

1980s: 5/10

1990s: 6/10

2000s: 5/10

2010s: 6/10

As you can see, each decade has basically been split down the middle on the amount of white Christmases — with the 1960s as the snowiest. Okay, no big deal. But what about it being in the 50s this year, that has to be hard to get to? The answer is yes, it is a little difficult, but not impossible or unheard of. Since 1926, it has been 50 or warmer eight other times.

The last time we were warmer than 50 degrees was 2015, when it hit 50 degrees — and that was the second year of back to back Christmases in which we hit that mark. Prior to 2014 though, we have to go back to 1987 — which was the last time it made it to 50 degrees. About 25% of the time our high temperature on Christmas is in the 40s.

To build off of that even further, around 40% of the time our high temperature on Christmas is above the average high of 36 degrees (yes, this includes days 37 degrees or higher). With all this said, yes this Christmas will be mild and green, but not anything that we have yet to record here in Rochester!