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Near-record warmth on tap for Christmas Day
by Jebb Johnston
Dec 23, 2016 | 1585 views | 0 0 comments | 51 51 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A white Christmas is always a long shot in the Mid-South, and rarely more so than this year.

The weather forecast calls for nearly short sleeves weather on Christmas Day with a high temperature of 72.

“We’re talking on the order of about 20 to 25 degrees above normal,” said National Weather Service Memphis Meteorologist Mike Johnson. “That’s pretty substantial.”

It will also likely be near a record high. The local NWS cooperative observation site with records dating to 1895 shows a record Christmas high of 75 degrees in 1942.

While NWS Memphis doesn’t have historical readings for Corinth, the record Christmas high in Jackson, Tenn., is 71 and in Tupelo is 78.

The winter warmup is not expected to be a harbinger of severe weather this time. A cold front will arrive early next week.

“It will bring some more rain chances and knock temperatures back closer to normal,” said Johnson. “The chance of thunderstorms is pretty low.”

In any year in the Mid-South, the probability of a white Christmas — defined as at least an inch of snowfall — is far less than 10 percent. White Christmases were recorded in Tupelo in 2010 and 1998 and in Jackson, Tenn., in 2004, 1963, 1962, 1913 and 1897.

The most recent white Christmas for any part of the region was 2012 when Jonesboro, Ark., had 5 inches on the ground Christmas morning. Only trace amounts occurred in Memphis and Jackson.
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