Christmas Day Climate Information

The following tables show the climate information for Rapid City, Lead, Gillette, Winner and Lemmon on Christmas, as well as the weather at the Rapid City Airport for the past 10 Christmas Days. Record highs around the area have reached the 50s and 60s, with record lows in the teens and 20s below zero. Most places around the area had a white Christmas in 2012 (Winner’s snow depth was missing). Of the five sites listed, white Christmases have been most frequent in Lead, occurring 88% of the time. The past 10 years of Christmas Days at the Rapid City airport have been pretty dry, although it did snow a little last year.

Temperature (°F)

Rapid City*

Lead

Gillette

Winner

Lemmon

Highest

60 (1963)

55 (2005)

52 (1980, 1947)

66 (1979)

53 (1963)

Lowest

-21 (1983)

-13 (1934)

-28 (1983)

-20 (1983)

-24 (1983)

Average High

37.1

35.3

33.8

34.4

27.7

Average Low

16.4

16.8

12.5

13.3

7.5

Precipitation (in.)

Rapid City

Lead

Gillette

Winner

Lemmon

Max Precip.

0.20 (2009)

1.11 (2009)

0.20 (1943, 1939, 1933)

0.85 (1964)

0.30 (1960)

Days Measured Precip.

26 times or 21%

32 times or 31%

20 times or 18%

9 times or 9%

13 times or 13%

Max Snowfall

3.9 (1988)

26.0 (2009)

5.5 (1921)

5.0 (1996)

6.0 (2009)

Days Measured Snow

25 times or 20%

31 times or 30%

20 times or 18%

8 times or 8%

8 times or 8%

Max Snow Depth

8 (1996)

33 (1993)

19 (1996)

21 (1951)

30 (1966)

White Christmases (1”+ snow depth)

25 times or 38%

56 times or 88%

33 times or 52%

28 times or 54%

48 times or 64%

Most Recent White Christmas

2012 (3”)

2012 (3”)

2012 (1”)

2009 (6”)

2012 (1”)

Most Consecutive White Christmases

3 years (1983-1985)

9 years

(1966-1974)

6 years

(1995-2000)

6 years (1980-1985)

9 years

(1966-1974)

Most Consecutive Green Christmases

8 years (1952-1959)

3 years

(2001-2003)

5 years

(1955-1959)

6 years (1971-1976)

5 years

(2003-2007)

Year Temp and Precip Records Began

1888

1909

1902

1910

1909

Year Snow Depth Records Began

1947

1948

1948

1948**

1909**

*Data for Rapid City was compiled from the office’s three locations: the original downtown Weather Bureau Office (WBO) data goes from 1888-1942; the office moved to the airport in 1942, and relocated to East Rapid City in 1995. Average highs and lows were calculated based on averaging those of the three different sites. Snow depth was not available until a few years after the station moved to the airport, so the white Christmas percentage was calculated since 1947.

**12 Christmas days of snow depth data were missing for Winner, and 28 were missing for Lemmon. These were not included in the percentage calculation.

Weather at the Rapid City Airport on the Last 10 Christmas Days

Date

High Temperature (°F)

Low Temperature (°F)

Average Temperature

(°F)

Precipitation

(in.)

Snowfall

(in.)

Snow Depth

(in.)

2012

7

-7

0.0

0.03

0.6

2

2011

49

20

34.5

0.00

0.0

0

2010

28

17

22.5

0.00

0.0

T

2009

13

3

8.0

0.20

2.1

2

2008

35

12

23.5

0.00

0.0

2

2007

35

15

25.0

0.01

0.5

1

2006

42

9

25.5

0.00

0.0

0

2005

58

31

44.5

0.00

0.0

0

2004

51

29

40.0

0.00

0.0

0

2003

48

31

39.5

Trace

Missing

0

 

Probability of a White Christmas

 Probability of a White Christmas


Data based on 1981-2010 historical records provided by National Climatic Data Center

 


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