The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

December 21, 2012

Forecasters: Don’t look forward to white Christmas

Staff Writter

TARBORO — A white Christmas is not in the forecast for Edgecombe County.

“We’re looking at about 58 degrees for the high and a low that night of about 39,” said Ryan Ellis, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Raleigh. “Clouds will be increasing throughout the day.”

The clouds will bring a slight chance of rain on Christmas, beginning at 6 or 7 p.m.

Today brings chilly temperatures and blustery weather for the holiday travel weekend.

“It’s going to feel a little cooler than it has recently, because we’re going to be returning to normal temperatures for this time of year,” Ellis said. “We’re looking at wind gusts around 30 to 35 miles per hour [today.] It wouldn’t surprise me to see a couple of wind gusts over 40.”

Today’s high is 52, with a low of 27 degrees. Saturday’s wind gusts are only expected to reach 25 miles per hour. Skies will be mainly clear and sunny today and Saturday. Temperatures will rise into the mid 50’s on Sunday and Monday, with partly cloudy skies.

The probability of a white Christmas is low across North Carolina this year. Most regions have less than a 5 percent chance, while the very western tip of the state has a 5 to 10 percent chance of a white Christmas, according to the State Climate Office of North Carolina. Having a white Christmas in North Carolina is rare.

“By the climate records, it’s less than 5 percent of the time,” said Ellis. The frequency is four out of 119 Christmases, according to the State Climate Office, with 2010 the snowiest Christmas on record. That year, snow began falling at the Raleigh airport on Christmas night and continued all day on the 26th. The Raleigh area had 7.1 inches of snow during that storm, the average snowfall for an entire winter, while Tarboro had a total of 12 inches, according to Ellis.