MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Many of us dream of a White Christmas, but it was a reality for residents in the Carolinas 25 years ago. First Alert Meteorologist Brittney Bryant took a look back at this record-breaking event.
It's something every kid wishes for this time of year: snow. Children from Wilmington, NC to Jacksonville, FL woke up to a snow-covered ground on Christmas in 1989. The largest snowstorm in history along the Southeast coast blanketed streets, beaches and homes with a record-breaking amount of snow and startling record cold temperatures.
This powerful Christmas snowstorm started on December 22 and continued to drop snow until Christmas Eve. Some areas across the Grand Strand and Pee Dee received nearly 14 inches of snow and only reached a high temperature of 18 degrees. This rare event featured the perfect ingredients for snow across the Carolinas.
We need two things for an event like this to occur again. Firstly, we need cold air in the upper levels of the atmosphere down to the surface. This was provided by a cold front that passed through our area right before this event. Also an arctic high pressure system located over the central plains really allowed cold air to settle into the air. Then we needed a low pressure system to form just off our coast, bringing in all of that moisture. That is exactly what happened...we got these two ingredients perfectly coming together in order for this event to happen.
In December of 1989, Mother Nature was able to cook up a mess of a winter storm. We will continue to hope for another Christmas gift of snow, but until then, the Christmas Blizzard of 1989 remains frozen in the record books and in the minds of thousands of people across the Carolinas.