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2016’s Historical Probability of a White Christmas

By Climate Central

Waking up to a White Christmas is a holiday dream of many, and while we have to wait until just before December 25 to really predict the specific weather on Christmas morning, we can look at how likely, based on historical records, a White Christmas is.

On the map below, you can see NOAA’s calculation of the historical odds of at least one inch of snow on the ground on Christmas Day across the continental U.S., using their 1981 to 2010 U.S. climate normals. Mountainous regions tend to have a higher probability of a White Christmas, while the Southeast’s chances are pretty slim.


The historical odds of at least one inch of snow on the ground on Christmas Day

Unfortunately, these are just odds, so even though there may be a greater than 90 percent chance of snow being on the ground, it does not mean there will necessarily be a White Christmas in those locations this year. Plus, as the climate continues to change and winters get warmer, the weather on December 25 could become less likely to allow for a White Christmas in most parts of the U.S.