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Early Christmas Snow in the South - LEX18.com | Continuous News and StormTracker Weather

Early Christmas Snow in the South

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My 5 year old niece woke up Friday morning to an Early Christmas. White lawns as far as the eye could see and a strange type of precipitation falling from the sky. Now while you and I know that this is snow, to her, it was a completely new experience. She had never seen snow before. Growing up in South Louisiana, snow was something people only talked about. Every five or six years we'd get a little dusting, make a tiny snowman, and throw icicles at each other (kids amiright?). Well, this year, my niece had that wonderful experience.

This was her snowman…

It's strange to be talking about snow in the south when Kentucky has yet to record a snowfall this season. Yet, snow blanketed areas from Mexico to the Carolinas over the last several days. We had the same cold front move across Kentucky last week, but it was only rain for us.

So why did they get snow, while we only had rain?

It all comes down to where the moisture and cold air met. The cold air mass that drove into Kentucky and changed fall to winter had a large plume of moisture out ahead of it. It received a lot of it's content from the warm southwesterly winds that we had the day we neared 70 degrees last week. When that moisture arrived in Kentucky, the cold air was far behind. The cold front kept moving south until it put the brakes on in the far southern states. The stalled front, with all of it's available moisture, kept rain showers falling in those states.

That is, until the cold arrived. Wave after wave of cold air poured southward and eventually lowered temperatures enough to start producing snow. Snowfall amounts varied greatly, but the fact that the front would not budge made for significant amounts. Areas that hadn't seen snow in year if not decades, had snow on the ground yesterday morning. Up to 15” of snow were reported in Highlands, NC. 10” of snow showed up in Alabama. Even Eastern Louisiana picked up several inches.

We'll get our chance, but likely nowhere near those amounts anytime in the near future.

-Meteorologist Seth Phillips

Btw...If you've ever wondered how Cajuns celebrate the snow, this video explains it all…

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