National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Potential Winter Storm Friday - Significant Impacts To Travel Possible

A winter storm will bear down on the region for Friday, bring snow with several inches of accumulation possible. Storm track could still shift, resulting in a subsequent shift in where the heaviest snows fall. In addition, blowing and drifting could occur along with a smaller threat for freezing precipitation. There will be impacts to travel - plan accordingly. Read More >

Below are some Christmas weather statistics for La Crosse, WI and Rochester, MN.

La Crosse, WI:

The following statistics comprise 149 years of data. From 1872 through 1950, the data came from various locations in downtown La Crosse. Since 1950, the data has been gathered at La Crosse Regional Airport. No temperature data was available in 1985.

Christmas in La Crosse, WI
(Period of Record 1872-2020)
1991-2020 Normals
Records
Maximum Temperature
30°F
Warmest High Temperature
61°F
December 25, 1889
Coldest High Temperature
-10°F
December 25, 1983
Minimum Temperature
15°F
 
Warmest Low Temperature
41°F
December 25, 1936
December 25, 1893
Coldest Low Temperature
-37°F
December 25, 1872
Average Temperature
22°F
 
Warmest Average Temperature
48.5°F
December 25, 1889
Coldest Average Temperature
-21.5°F
December 25, 1872
Precipitation
0.05"
Wettest
1.21"
December 25, 1875
Snowfall
0.3"
Snowiest
5.1"
December 25, 1977
Snow Depth at 6 AM
4"
Most Snow of Ground at 6 AM
21"
December 25, 2010


The odds of having precipitation on Christmas is 53.7% (80 out of 149).  There has been measurable (0.01" or greater) precipitation on 42 Christmases (28.2%) and trace amounts (less than 0.01") of precipitation 38 Christmases (25.5%).  

Since 1896, it has snowed on 64 out of 124 (51.2%) Christmases.  Measurable snow (0.1" or greater) has fallen on 31 Christmas s (24.8%) and trace amounts on 33 Christmases (26.4%).  

Since 1893, residents have woken up with measurable snow (1/2" or greater) on the ground 88 times (68.8%), trace amounts (less than a 1/2") 16 times (12.5%), and no snow on the ground 24 times (18.8%). 

Looking back at the 2020 Christmas, the high temperature was 21°F and the low temperature was -1°F.  No precipitation fell and there was 1" of snow on the ground.  The average wind speed was 6.2 mph.

Rochester, MN:

The following statistics comprise 108 years of data. From 1886 through 1931, the data came from several cooperative observers in the Rochester area. Since 1932, the data has been gathered at Rochester International Airport. No data was taken on Christmas Day from 1889 to 1891, 1901, 1908, from 1921 to 1927, and 1933.

 
Christmas in Rochester, MN
(Period of Record 1886-2020)
1981-2010 Normals
Records
Maximum Temperature
25°F
Warmest High Temperature
50°F
December 25, 1936
Coldest High Temperature
-6°F
December 25, 1996
Minimum Temperature
11°F
 
Warmest Low Temperature
38°F
December 25, 1936
Coldest Low Temperature
-25°F
December 25, 2000
Average Temperature
18°F
 
Warmest Average Temperature
44.0°F
December 25, 1936
Coldest Average Temperature
-10.5°F
December 25, 1983
December 25, 1933
Precipitation
0.04"
Wettest
0.75"
December 25, 1893
Snowfall
0.4"
Snowiest
10.3"
December 25, 1955
Snow Depth at 6 AM
5"
Most Snow of Ground at 6 AM
29"
December 25, 2010


The odds of having any precipitation on Christmas is 59.3% (64 out of 108).  There has been measurable (0.01" or greater) precipitation on 33 Christmas s (30.6%) and trace amounts (less than 0.01") of precipitation on 31 Christmases (28.7%).  

It has snowed on 57 out of 105 (54.8%) Christmases.  Measurable snow (0.1" or greater) has fallen on 27 Christmases (26%) and trace amounts on 30 Christmases (28.8%). 

Residents have woken up with measurable snow (1/2" or greater) on the ground 68 times (78.2%), trace amounts (less than a 1/2") 13 times (14.9%), and no snow 6 times (6.9%). 

Looking back at the 2020 Christmas, the high temperature was 20°F and the low temperature was -5°F.  A trace of snow fell and there was 1" of snow on the ground that morning.  The average wind speed was 9.6 mph.


The following weather has occurred on Christmas in southeast Minnesota, northeast Iowa, and western Wisconsin:

  • In 1879, the temperature plunged to -26 at La Crosse, WI. This stood as their coldest Christmas until 2000 when it was tied.
  • In 1895, a snowstorm that began on the afternoon of Christmas Eve in La Crosse, WI ended early Christmas morning. Residents awoke to find 11.5" of snow on the ground. What looked to be a brown Christmas was now a rather White Christmas.
  • In 1933, Medford, WI had a low temperature of -31°F.  This was their coldest December temperature.
  • In 1936, La Crosse, WI (55°F) and Rochester, MN (50°F) had their warmest Christmas Day.
  • In 1945, snow began falling during the morning of the 24th and continued into the early morning hours of the 26th. Some glaze damage to wire service southern Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa. Some totals included 9" at Grand Meadow, MN, 7.9" at La Crosse, WI, and 6" at New Hampton, IA.
  • In 1950, a low pressure system produced 6" in Harmony, MN; 6" in West Salem, WI; and 5.3" in La Crosse, WI (5.3") of snow.
  • In 1953,  Rochester, MN  received 10.3" of snow.  This was their snowiest December day.
  • In 1962,  heavy snow fell across northeast Iowa and southwest Wisconsin.  The following snow totals were reported 7" in Cresco, IA; 7" in Decorah, IA; 6.2" in Dorchester, IA; and 6" in Lancaster, WI (6").
  • In 1969, 7" of snow fell in Lancaster, WI.
  • In 1977, 6" of snow fell in Dodge, WI.
  • In 1996, Lancaster and Platteville in southwest Wisconsin received 6" of snow while areas further north near the Wisconsin River picked up 2-3". The snow fell from 2 PM on the 25th to 10 AM on the 26th.
  • In 2000, La Crosse, WI (-26°F - tied with 1879) and Rochester, MN (-25°F) had their coldest low temperature Christmas Day.  High temperatures were mainly in the 5 to 15°F range.  This made it cold viewing for the partial solar eclipse.