December 25, 2011 / 5:50 PM / in 6 years

A rare white Christmas in the Texas panhandle

3 Min Read

Passengers walk through American Airlines terminal 3 at O'Hare International in Chicago December 23, 2011. The airport is experiencing high volume of travelers during the festive Christmas season.Frank Polich

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - A light dusting of snow in north Texas will bring a rare white Christmas to this drought-stricken state, but the majority of the nation was seeing mild weather on Sunday.

A few snow showers were expected in parts of the Northeast as well, but weather forecasters said 99 percent of Americans would see more green and brown for their Yuletide celebrations - along with plenty of rain, according to Accuweather.com.

The wet Christmas in the Texas Panhandle and Permian Basin brought cheer for drought-weary Texans, who were seeing snow in Lubbock and Amarillo on Christmas morning and rain in the eastern part of the state.

The worst one-year drought in the state's history this year sparked devastating wildfires, killed as many as half a billion trees, and prompted the most serious urban water use restrictions ever.

Meanwhile, in points north, the lack of snow was welcome news in Minneapolis, where last year's winter storm 12 days before Christmas dumped 17 inches of snow on the city, causing the roof of the Metrodome, the Minnesota Viking's football stadium, to collapse.

Holiday travelers Jessica Clay (2nd L) and girlfriend Erin Kuntze (L) of Los Angeles wait to check-in for their flight to New Orleans, Louisiana at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California December 23, 2011. The airport is anticipating some of the busiest travel days just before Christmas as 2.9 million passengers are expected from December 17, 2011 to January 3, 2012.Jason Redmond

This year, Minneapolis has no snow and will have temperatures in the high 30s over the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

Skycaps take in luggage from holiday travelers at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California December 23, 2011. The airport is anticipating some of the busiest travel days just before Christmas as 2.9 million passengers are expected from December 17, 2011 to January 3, 2012.Jason Redmond

Very little new snow is expected to accumulate anywhere throughout the day on Sunday, according to Accuweather.com. But a snowstorm in southern Ontario is forecast to move into Quebec on Sunday night and drop snow near the Great Lakes, with some accumulation happening overnight.

Residents from Watertown, N.Y. to Bangor, Maine - many of whom are off work on Monday in observance of the Christmas holiday - could wake up to an inch of snow on the ground Monday as the storm moves East.

Most of the Pacific Northwest were seeing mild weather on Christmas Day, while states like Colorado and New Mexico had lingering snow leftover from a pre-Christmas storm. Still, very few areas across the nation were seeing fresh snow on Sunday.

Even the Texas Panhandle, which was under a winter weather advisory, was not expecting the snow to accumulate - though transportation officials were warning of ice on the roads and cautioning drivers to be careful.

Editing by Tim Gaynor

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