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 Tis the Christmas and winter weather seasons, and one cannot help but wonder what Santa is up to and what the weather holds for December and for Christmas. Athough winter officially begins with the winter solstice (December 21st at 11:47 am), the month of December marks the onset of the winter season which includes the months of December, January and February.   This year, December began with a cold snap as arctic air settled into our region.  

 Christmas Day itself, the 25th of December, can experience a wide range of temperature readings with record lows ranging from the teens below zero across the tri-cities, to record highs in the 60s.  More typically, temperatures follow closer to seasonal normals which are in the lower to middle 30s for highs, and in the teens for lows.  The table below depicts the climatological data for Grand Island, Hastings, and Kearney, NE on Christmas Day:   


Climatological Statistics (December 25th)

Grand Island

(since 1895)


(since 1902)


(since 1907)

Normal High  33 degrees  35 degrees 34 degrees
Last Year's High Temperature
41 degrees  39 degrees 41 degrees
Normal Low  14 degrees  13 degrees  15 degrees
Last Year's Low Temperature
12 degrees  10 degrees 9 degrees
Record High 62 in 1999
66 in 1950
62 in 1999
Record Low -16 in 1983
-17 in 1983
-13 in 1983
Record Precipitation 0.20" in 1941
0.40" in 1948
1.00" in 1945
Record Snowfall 3.0" in 1941
4.0" in 1945
9.0" in 1945
Record Snowdepth (taken at 6 am) 20" in 1968
21" in 1968
19" in 1983


Although not required, snow is often helpful for Santa's travels.  Climatologically, the probability of a White Christmas ranges from 11 percent in north central Kansas to 40 percent in north central Nebraska. We'll see if enough snow remains from the snowstorm on December 8th.  The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has been following Santa for some time now, and will continue to do so through Christmas.




This page was composed by the staff at the National Weather Service in Hastings, Nebraska.


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