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Historical Probability of a White Christmas

By Climate Central

Even though December has been warm for the eastern U.S., many people still dream of a White Christmas. Out west, that dream is looking like it will become a reality for many thanks to a series of storms combined with a persistent chill.

With the help of NOAA, we examine the historical odds of a White Christmas for every location in the U.S, the historical probability of having an inch of snow on the ground on Christmas Day, as well as record snow depth.

This graphic illustrates a probability based on the 1981-2010 climatological normal, and it is not a specific forecast for each location in the country. Nonetheless, the climatology of the country can certainly be seen in the map. Whiter areas have a higher probability of having snow on the ground on Christmas Day, and greener areas have a lower probability. With that, it is easy to pick out the Rocky Mountains. Similarly, the narrow white stripe in eastern California highlights the Sierras. And while most of the Southeast, not surprisingly, has a low chance of a White Christmas, the whiter tinge near West Virginia signals a better chance to get snow in the Appalachians.