Christmas a year ago & 40 years ago… remarkably alike

There’s no doubt that if you were living in north Georgia year ago you have not forgotten what that Christmas weekend was like. In most anywhere in north Georgia, that holds true. The same can be said of Christmas 40 years ago.

They were very winterlike, both of them – and for the same reason: a hard freeze that sent temperatures tumbling into the single digits and below zero in places.

Christmas 2022 was bitterly cold with the low Christmas Eve morning in Gainesville bottoming-out at +5. The result? Burst water pipes that flooded many homes and businesses and killed or put in jeopardy of dying many outdoor plants and shrubs.

The governor reacted to the forecast by declaring State of Emergency in Georgia four days before Christmas: Georgia Prepares for Freezing Weather, Declares a State of Emergency | Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency

But 2022 was not the only Christmas weekend hard freeze that left its mark in the memory of many people. If you were around in the early ’80s, you may recall that Christmas morning when we awoke to below-zero readings. Again, burst pipes flooded businesses and homes and killed house plants where the homeowners had left home and turned the heat off. 1983: “The Coldest Christmas Ever” – Farmers’ Almanac – Plan Your Day. Grow Your Life. (

Two places in Gainesville were especially hard hit by last year’s event – Scott’s Downtown, the fine dining restaurant just off the square, was flooded. And, a year later, still has not reopened. The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia suffered “big time” as well. But has been back in business since early in the year.

But this year, none of that. No hard freeze. No snow. But we can expect some rain – and lots of it, 1.5-2 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

And as noted elsewhere on this site, a Wind Advisory is in effect for parts of north Georgia today. Some gusts may top 45 mph.