Christmas Day Snowfall and Severe Weather across the Four State Region
Dec 29, 2012 | 1365 views | 0 0 comments | 281 281 recommendations | email to a friend | print


 (click any of the below images to see a larger version

As Christmas day approached, a large storm system was developing across the southwest United States. In the image to the right, one can see the intensity of this 500mb trough of low pressure on Christmas morning as it approached west Texas. In its advance, strong southwesterly flow was helping to pump in plenty of moisture across the southern United States. 

Upper-air map at 500mb from 12z on 12/25 (6am CST) showing the upper lelvel trough mving into west Texas. Map provided by the Storm Prediction Center.


Surface map for the morning of December 25th. It shows the surface low developing in south Texas. Map provided by the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center.

At the surface, an area of low pressure was developing across south central Texas with a warm front extending eastward along I-10. The track of this surface low would ultimately determine the locations that would receive either severe or wintry weather. Areas to the south were primed for severe weather, with dewpoints in the 60s as well as high instability and wind shear. To the north, much colder air was wrapping around the system. Another feature on the surface map is a strong cold front moving through the area from the northwest. The front helped move colder air in from the north and also helped to concentrate thunderstorm activity as the entire system moved off to the east.


As mentioned before, the severe weather threat for Christmas day was great for much of the southern and southeastern United States. A moderate risk for severe weather extended from Houston, Tx eastward to Jackson, Ms as well as to Mobile and Birmingham, Al. As the day progressed, a few instances of severe weather were noted in the Shreveport, La NWS county warning area, but the brunt of the severe weather reports were found to the east.




Potential rainfall through Wednesday

Severe weather threat on Christmas day as well as storm reports. Maps courtesy of theStorm Prediction Center.


Rainfall totals from the Chirstmas day storms. Map provided by the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service.

Rain was another welcome aspect of this storm system, with most of the area seeing between one half and 2 inches. Some locations received in excess of 3 or 4 inches of rain. Fortunately, no flash flooding was reported to the Shreveport, La NWS office.

 Below is a graphic that displays the amount of snow that fell across the four state region of the Shreveport, La NWS County Warning Area.


A heavier band of snow developed across portions of extreme northeast Texas, southeast Oklahoma and southwest Arkansas. These areas from De Kalb, Tx to south of Idabel, Ok northeastward to Nashville, Ar experienced 7 to 8 inches of snow, which were the highest totals from this event for the forecast area.

To see a text version of all the snowfall reports received, click here.

The below photos were taken by Shreveport, La NWS Cooperative Weather Observers. To learn more about the Cooperative Weather Observer program, click here.


(some files are large and may take a few moments to load

Above: Morning snow fall of approximately 6 inches inIdabel, Ok.

Above: Photo of the Idabel, Ok water plant covered in a layer of snow.

Above: Snow falling in De Kalb, Tx on Christmas night.

Above: Morning snow cover in Chapel Hill, Tx.

Above: Christmas trees covered in snow at the Chamber of Commerce in Nashville, Ar.

Above: Field and trees covered in snow the day after Christmas in Nashville, Ar.

Above: Large Christmas tree covered in snow at the Chamber of Commerce in Nashville, Ar the morning after Christmas.

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