What Are Your Chances of Having a "White Christmas"?

December 23, 2016 11:16 AM

People often wonder if they will have a white Christmas.

We’ve had a snowy and cold start to the season; one-third of the northern U.S. has snow cover. In those drier years, there are place you can live or visit to improve your chances of having snow on the ground Christmas morning.

Based on historical probabilities, the mountain ranges of the western half of the country are a good bet for a white Christmas. For example, Aspen, Co. has a 100 percent historical probability, according to NOAA.

East of the Rockies, you can almost assure yourself a white Christmas in the northern tier of states from northern Minnesota to northern Maine, and even downwind of the Great Lakes because of lake effect snow.

“This year, you might be able to expand your horizons and pick some place across the norther plains, much of the Midwest or northeast and almost guarantee yourself of having one inch of snow on the ground on Christmas morning, which is the official definition of a white Christmas,” said Brad Rippey, meteorologist with the USDA.

He also conducted research on the percentage of the lower 48 states covered with snow on December 25th over the past 15 years.

In 2009, 63 percent of the country had the requisite snow cover, the highest percentage during the time period. 2003 had the least with 21 percent.

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