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Historic Christmas Day weather in Raleigh

False fall? Try wild winter.

A historic photo of a snow day on Fayetteville Street.

A snow day on Fayetteville Street circa 1920.

Courtesy of @ncmuseumhistory

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With predictions calling for the coldest Christmas morning in decades, it’s easy to dream of a white Christmas in Raleigh. But although temperatures are predicted drop into the low 20s — thanks to an arctic blast traveling down from Canada — snowfall is still unlikely this weekend.

According to WRAL, bitter cold will set in Friday afternoon with a wind chill in the single digits and teens. Flurries are possible, but don’t expect accumulation. On Christmas Eve and Christmas, temperatures are expected to only reach the low 30s. There will be lots of sun, a consistent chill, and probably no snow. Don’t lose hope, though — according to climatologist Corey Davis, snow is more likely in January.

We examined weather data to see what the holiday has historically felt like in the City of Oaks. Spoiler alert: Measurable snow has fallen on Christmas Day just twice since 1944.

Historical averages

The average weather on Dec. 25 in Raleigh is:

  • High of 53.2º
  • Low of 33.4º
  • 33.6% chance of rain
  • 1.7% chance of snow

Historical records

Now, let’s dive into some historical Christmas Day weather records:

  • Hottest Christmas: High of 75º recorded in 1955
  • Coldest Christmas: Low of 4º (and a high of 19º) recorded in 1983
  • Rainiest Christmas: 2.2 inches recorded in 1914 (for context, the wettest day in Raleigh in 2022 brought down 3.4 inches of rain.)
  • Snowiest Christmas: 0.4 inches recorded in 2010 and 1947.

This year’s forecast

Here’s what to expect this year on Christmas Day:

  • High of 37º
  • Low of 17º
  • 0% chance of rain

Note: These weather predictions are based on data available at the time of publication.

Raleigh weather isn’t exactly consistent (but you already knew that). Last year’s temperatures reached a high of 72º and low of 49º.

Prepare for cold weather with these tips from the National Weather Service. Stay warm out there, Raleigh.

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