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Dreaming of a White Christmas? Here’s Where It’s Most Likely to Happen


Singers croon about it, kids hope for it and parents dread driving in it: A white Christmas. But, what are the chances you’ll be walking through a winter wonderland this year?

To answer that question, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released their probabilities of where at least one inch of snow could be on the ground, in the Lower 48, on Christmas Day. Using the 1981—2010 climatological data — including monthly normals of temperature, precipitation, snowfall, heating and cooling degree days, frost/freeze dates and growing degree days — for more than 9,800 staions, NOAA calculated the areas mostly likely to have a white Christmas.

As one might expect, mountainous areas in the West and the northern tier of the country were most likely to have the highest probability of a white Christmas.

More specifically, NOAA says Minnesota, Maine, Upstate New York, Pennsylvania’s Allegheny Mountains, much of Idaho, the Sierra Nevada Mountains and most of the Rockies will likely have snow on the ground as Christmas rolls around.

So, how does the snow forecast look for Christmas Day? Well, it’s still a bit too far out to accurately give that information. But, the models are hinting at snow for parts of the Intermountain West. Again, that will have to be monitored for model continuity and a clearer picture will begin to develop in the coming days.


The Climate Prediction Center is also suggesting above-average temperatures for much of the West, Upper Midwest and Northeast through Christmas and the New Year. WeatherNation meteorologists will be keeping an eye on the Christmas forecast and bring you frequent updates, through the holiday.

Meteorologist Alan Raymond

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