A Record-Breaking December: Lafayette County’s Unprecedented Warmth

Lafayette County, Mississippi, has witnessed some of its warmest Decembers in history, challenging the traditional imagery of a cold and snowy holiday season. While the stereotypical December is associated with white Christmases and chilly activities, not every year conforms to these expectations.

Across the continental U.S., peak winter cold typically occurs in January and February, and winter officially begins on December 21. The average December temperature in the country from 1901-2000 hovered just above freezing at 32.68°F. Comparing yearly temperatures to this 20th-century average helps gauge the rarity of a December’s climate. In 2021, the U.S. experienced its warmest December on record, with an average temperature of 39.34°F, a significant 6.66°F above the long-term average. In contrast, December 2022 approached the previous century’s U.S. average, registering at 33.08°F.

For Lafayette County, Mississippi, the average temperature from 1901-2000 was 43.6°F.

The U.S. boasts diverse climates, offering residents various holiday weather experiences. Monroe County, Florida, reported the highest average December temperature in the past century at 67.6°F, while Roseau County, Minnesota, on the Canadian border, experienced the lowest at 7.2°F. Despite these extremes, temperatures across the country are trending upward, indicating a long-term increase in average temperatures.

To identify Lafayette County’s warmest December, data from the National Centers for Environmental Information was used to compile a list of the 15 Decembers with the highest average temperatures since 1895. Below are the top 15 warmest Decembers in Lafayette County, along with their respective average temperatures and variations from the 1901-2000 average:

  • 2007: 48.5°F (4.9°F above average)
  • 1940: 48.7°F (5.1°F above average)
  • 1946 (tie): 48.9°F (5.3°F above average)
  • 2012 (tie): 48.9°F (5.3°F above average)
  • 1982 (tie): 49.2°F (5.6°F above average)
  • 1918 (tie): 49.2°F (5.6°F above average)
  • 1922: 50.0°F (6.4°F above average)
  • 1923: 50.6°F (7.0°F above average)
  • 1971: 51.2°F (7.6°F above average)
  • 1931: 51.6°F (8.0°F above average)
  • 1956: 51.8°F (8.2°F above average)
  • 1933: 52.0°F (8.4°F above average)
  • 1984: 53.3°F (9.7°F above average)
  • 2015: 53.4°F (9.8°F above average)
  • 2021: 55.3°F (11.7°F above average)

Discover if you experienced Lafayette County’s warmest December by exploring the list above.

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