A “White Christmas” is truly rare in eastern North Carolina. The biggest on record (officially) occurred back in December of 1989, when Wilmington recorded 15 inches. Some locations in Brunswick County recorded nearly 20 inches.
More recently, a major snowstorm hit the state Christmas week of 2010. A classic coastal low pressure system combined with invading arctic air to produce up to 13 inches in the WNCT9 viewing area. The first flakes fell late on December 25, but the bulk of measurable precipitation in eastern NC occurred on December 26.
I remember that snowfall well. It was my son’s first Christmas, and unfortunately I spend the majority of the holiday tracking the storm at my previous station in New Hanover County. I guess this is one major reason why I dislike winter precipitation- it often means time away from family.
The good thing about downeast snowfall is that it typically doesn’t last long. Just one week after the Christmas snow of 2010, temperatures approached 70 degrees throughout much of the viewing area.
(images courtesy of NWS Raleigh)