Dreaming of a white Christmas this year? You may potentially be in for a treat in some parts of the northern half of the U.S. based on the latest data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
According to the latest (1991-2020) U.S. Climate Normals from the NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), the uppermost region of the country’s northern half have around a 60 to over 90 percent historic probability of there being at least one inch of snow on Christmas at weather stations in these areas.
Some of the areas with the greatest historic probability include portions of the northwest (including Washington, Oregon, Idaho), the Midwest (including North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan) and the northeast (including New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire).
The 1991-2020 Climate Normals show the latest three-decade averages of various climatological measurements. These include daily and monthly Normals of temperature, precipitation, snowfall, heating and cooling degree days, frost/freeze dates, and growing-degree days) observed at nearly 15,000 stations. The majority of these stations are operated by the National Weather Service.
While the aforementioned areas have a historical probability of seeing at least one inch of snow on December 25, « the actual conditions in any year may vary widely from these because the weather patterns present will determine the snow on the ground or snowfall on Christmas day, » explains the NOAA.
Areas With the Best Chance of a White Christmas
(according to the NOAA, based on the latest 1991-2020 U.S. Climate Normals)
- Upstate New York
- Idaho (« practically anywhere » in the state, according to the NOAA)
- The Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania and West Virginia
- The Rockies
- The Sierra Nevada Mountains
Will We Have Snow Near Me on December 25?
Below is the historic probability of there being at least one inch of snow on Christmas in different states, based on the latest 1991-2020 U.S. Climate Normals.
- Idaho: Over 90 percent chance across most of the state.
- Illinois: Around 40 to 50 percent chance in the northern half of the state.
- Maine: Around 60 to over 90 percent chance across the state.
- Michigan: Around 50 to 90 percent chance across the state.
- Minnesota: Around 60 percent to over 90 percent.
- Montana: Around 40 to over 90 percent chance across the state.
- New Hampshire: Around 60 to over 90 percent chance across the state.
- New York: Around 90 percent chance in upstate New York, around 50 to 60 percent in the lower portion of the state, less than about 25 percent in New York City.
- North Dakota: Around 60 to over 90 percent chance across the state.
- Oregon: Over 75 to 90 percent chance in portions of the state.
- Pennsylvania: Around 50 to 90 percent chance in the upper region of the state.
- South Dakota: Around 40 to 90 percent chance across the state.
- Vermont: Around 75 to over 95 percent chance across the state.
- Washington: Over 90 percent chance in the northern and western edges of the state.
- Wisconsin: Around 40 to 90 percent chance across the state.
See the NOAA’s Climate.gov website for more information on the chances of snow for other states.
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