5 historic Christmas Day snowstorms

While snow falling around the Christmas holiday may create an ideal setting for celebrations, storms hitting during busy travel periods can cause mass chaos.

Heavy snow, gusty winds and persistent rain can create flight and driving hazards for those venturing away from home for holiday gatherings. In the past two decades, certain storms have slammed parts of the country over the Christmas holiday, proving memorable due to the timing and impacts on annual celebrations.

1. Texarkana gripped by widespread ice storm - 2000


The Dec. 25-26, 2000, storm that hit Texarkana, Texas, left a thick coating of ice on roads, homes and cables that caused massive power outages. (Photo/NWSShreveport)

An unprecedented ice storm that pummeled Texarkana, Texas, in 2000 left the city celebrating Christmas in the dark. Spanning across northeastern Texas, southwestern Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma, the storm resulted in massive, widespread power outages for many over the course of Dec. 25 and 26.

According to the National Weather Service, ice accumulations totaled up to an inch in parts of Arkansas. Texarkana was left without running water, power and working telephones at one point during the destructive storm.

2. Back-to-back holiday storms for the Northeast - 2002


A woman steps in a puddle while crossing the street at Times Square in New York during a windy snowstorm that covered the tri-state area Christmas Day, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2002. (AP Photo/Larry Levine)

Just as parts of the Northeast were recovering from a Christmas Day storm, another punch of snow hit the same areas on New Year's Day, sparking power outages and delaying holiday travel.

While snow began to fall somewhat lightly Christmas morning in eastern New York and western New England, the storm picked up in strength throughout the day according to the NWS. By the end of the event, Albany, New York, received more than 24 inches of snow. With most of the snow falling in a 12-hour period, the storm is widely remembered for its quick and disruptive nature.

In New York City, residents and tourists also faced messy conditions. Up to 5 inches of snow was recorded within Manhattan.

A similar event occurred just a week later on New Year's Day, only icier conditions created for messier travel. Already coated with snow, trees and power lines tumbled to the ground as thick ice proved too heavy. The NWS reported that up to 15,000 area customers were without power.

3. South Texas faced a White Christmas - 2004


The 2004 storm was the second ever white Christmas for Corpus Christi, the first occurring in 1918. (Photo/NWS Corpus Christi)

In a rare storm that dropped piles of snow over parts of southern Texas like Victoria and Corpus Christi, scenes of palm trees covered in snow were an unfamiliar but abundant sight. Parts of the region received up to 12.5 inches over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

According to the NWS, unique preparations took place before the historic storm. Local officials installed "Watch for Ice on Bridge" signs to local roadways prior to the storm, a new sight for residents. Still, the hefty snowfall left hazardous driving conditions, forcing Texas Department of Transportation officials to close most area roadways.

Due to the remarkable event, grocery stores reported of depleted stock in hot chocolate, food and disposable cameras as residents hoped to capture the rare feat of a southern white Christmas. As a result, photo processing lines became congested with newly minted winter photographers eager to see their snowy settings develop.

4. Snowstorm buried Colorado on Christmas Day - 2007


With two dogs to help out, an unidentified homeowner clears his walks after a winter storm dumped up to 6 inches of snow on the metropolitan area to give Denver a white Christmas on Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2007. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Northeastern Colorado was smacked by a record snowfall on Christmas Day in 2007, recording up to 7.8 inches in some areas. This marked the highest snow total to fall over the holiday since 1894.

According to the Associated Press, nearly 2,500 flights were canceled over the course of three days at Denver International Airport. Crews could not keep up with the rapid snowfall and high winds that caused additional hazards. Most roads proved impassable, halting mail operations in the Denver area.

5. Snow snarls travel in Northeast, Southeast over Christmas and Boxing Day - 2010


Cars were completely buried in snow along a Brooklyn Street on Dec. 27, 2010. (Photo/NWS)

After blasting much of the Southeast with heavy snow that set up a white Christmas for areas like Atlanta and parts of North Carolina, the disruptive blizzard set upon the Northeast.

New York City was eerily quiet as parts of the city received more than 30 inches of snow between Dec. 26 and 27. Along with high winds reaching up to 60 mph, air and land travel were completely halted. Vehicles and trains were abandoned throughout the Northeast due to unsafe road conditions.