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Will We Have a White Christmas?

Check Your State to See If You Will Wake Up to Snow on Christmas Morning

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You wake up on that magical Christmas morning to find a blanket of snow clinging to the ground. You turn on the tree lights as you gaze into the winter wonderland that is a White Christmas. The trees are all heavy with snow and icicles, mesmerizing you into looking at the sun glinting off of the surfaces like a twinkle light. This is the magic of waking to a White Christmas.

For those in the United States that celebrate Christmas, the idea of a morning or evening snowfall on December 24th or 25th is a popular topic of conversation. Now, using data from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), you can take a look at your statistical chances for having a White Christmas. Meteorologist Tom Ross has gathered data and produced a research study which gives information on major cities in each state. While the report is older (1995), and temperatures have been slightly above average in the winter, the results should be close to the same. Besides, this is supposed to be fun!

First, Choose Your State

Click on the White Christmas List to see a listing of all the states in the US. By clicking on your state, you will be taken to a web page that has a listing of some of the major cities in that state. The statistics are listed for each city.

In case you are curious, there is also an interactive White Christmas quiz for you to guess which states are likely to get the most snow...and the least!

How to Read the White Christmas Data

First, to be considered a White Christmas, the NCDC limits set the snow depth at 1 inch. A dusting of snow which melts with the morning sun would most certainly not be considered a White Christmas. The tables which follow under each state list snow depths of 1 inch, 5 inches, and 10+ inches.

Statistically speaking, data must be compared in any scientific endeavor in order to make accurate predictions for the future, so the data set used is between 1961 and 1990.

Another important factor in determining the likelihood of a White Christmas are the local landscapes of an area. In general, it can be easily presumed that the most mountainous areas would receive snow. In addition, the higher latitude states were also more likely to wake up to a snow covered lawn. (But you knew that already!)

New fallen snow is also not considered in the figures. For many areas of the country, there is a permanent winter snow amount on the ground. I myself like to think of a White Christmas as a bit more of a surprise.


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