Will There Be A White Christmas This Year?


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The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) has released a report which contains maps and tables showing the percent probabilities for a snow depth of at least 1 inch on Christmas morning, as well as the probabilities for a depth of at least 5 inches and 10 inches.     Northeastern States | Northcentral States | Northwestern States

To compute these statistics only observation stations with 25 years or more of data were used and the 1961-1990 period was chosen to coincide with the standard period for computing climatological normals.

As expected, the greatest probabilities are across the northern U.S. and in mountainous areas.  Assuming a "white Christmas" is having at least one inch of snow on the ground December 25th, the chances are 60% or better over an area including much of the northern Rockies, the northern Great Plains, the Great Lakes area, and most of New England.  The chances are less than 20% over most of the southern third of the country, excluding the Rockies, along with the Pacific coast.  It is important to note that higher mountain areas (elevations of 8,000 feet in an area averaging about 4,000 feet) will tend to have greater probabilities for each of the three categories.

December 25, 2012 - 51.1% Snowcover

New Map using 1981-2010 Climate Normals


Here are Northeast city-by-state probabilities for at least 1, 5, and 10-inch of snow depths on Christmas morning.  Figure 1 displays these probabilities for the continental U.S. in map form at 20 percent intervals.

(Figure 1.)

                           1"   5"  10"

   ALABAMA
    
   BIRMINGHAM              0%   0%   0%
   HUNTSVILLE              3%   0%   0%
   MOBILE                  0%   0%   0%
   MONTGOMERY              0%   0%   0%
   MUSCLE SHOALS           7%   0%   0%
    
   CONNECTICUT
    
   BRIDGEPORT             30%  10%   0%
   HARTFORD               57%  23%   3%
  
   DELAWARE
     
   WILMINGTON             13%   3%   3%
  
   DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
     
   WASHINGTON             13%   7%   0%
  
   FLORIDA                 0%   0%   0%
   GEORGIA                 0%   0%   0%
  
   INDIANA
     
   EVANSVILLE             13%   3%   0%
   FORT WAYNE             47%   7%   0%
   INDIANAPOLIS           30%   3%   0%
   SOUTH BEND             67%  37%   7%
   WEST LAFAYETTE         24%   8%   4%
  
   KENTUCKY
     
   BOWLING GREEN          14%   3%   0%
   COVINGTON              17%   0%   0%
   LEXINGTON              10%   3%   0%
   LONDON                 16%  12%   0%
   LOUISVILLE             13%   0%   0%
   PADUCAH                17%   3%   0%
     
   MAINE
     
   AUGUSTA                90%  52%  21%
   BRUNSWICK              80%  40%  17%
   CARIBOU                97%  77%  57%
   HOULTON                96%  74%  52%
   PORTLAND               83%  43%  13%
  
   MARYLAND
     
   LEXINGTON PARK         13%  10%   3%
   SALISBURY              14%   3%   0%
  
   MASSACHUSETTS
     
   BOSTON                 23%  17%   3%
   MILTON                 55%  21%   7%
   SOUTH WEYMOUTH         33%  13%  10%
   WORCESTER              60%  27%  10%
  
   NEW HAMPSHIRE
     
   CONCORD                87%  57%   7%
   LEBANON                85%  70%  30%
   MOUNT WASHINGTON       93%  63%  27%
  
   NEW JERSEY
     
   ATLANTIC CITY           7%   3%   0%
   MILLVILLE              14%   3%   0%
   NEWARK                 23%  10%   0%
  
   NEW YORK
     
   ALBANY                 63%  30%  13%
   BINGHAMTON             67%  43%  17%
   BUFFALO                57%  23%  13%
   GLENS FALLS            76%  59%  21%
   MASSENA                77%  47%  23%
   NEW YORK               10%   7%   0%
   POUGHKEEPSIE           45%  28%   7%
   ROCHESTER              60%  23%   3%
   SYRACUSE               70%  47%  20%
   UTICA                  71%  46%  18%
   WATERTOWN              69%  41%  21%
  
   NORTH CAROLINA
     
   ASHEVILLE               7%   0%   0%
   CAPE HATTERAS           3%   3%   0%
   CHARLOTTE               0%   0%   0%
   CHERRY POINT            3%   3%   3%
   GREENSBORO             10%   0%   0%
   HICKORY                 3%   0%   0%
   JACKSONVILLE            4%   4%   4%
   NEW BERN                3%   3%   0%
   RALEIGH                 3%   0%   0%
   WILMINGTON              3%   3%   3%
  
   OHIO
     
   AKRON                  40%   7%   0%
   CINCINNATI             11%   4%   0%
   CLEVELAND              50%  17%   0%
   COLUMBUS               23%   0%   0%
   DAYTON                 27%   3%   0%
   FINDLAY                41%   0%   0%
   MANSFIELD              47%   3%   0%
   TOLEDO                 57%   3%   0%
   YOUNGSTOWN             50%  10%   0%
   ZANESVILLE             21%   3%   0%
  
   PENNSYLVANIA
     
   ALLENTOWN              30%  10%   3%
   ALTOONA                31%   3%   0%
   BRADFORD               70%  37%  23%
   DUBOIS                 52%  28%  14%
   ERIE                   57%  23%  10%
   HARRISBURG             33%  10%   3%
   PHILADELPHIA           10%   7%   3%
   PITTSBURGH             33%   7%   0%
   WILKES-BARRE           43%  17%   3%
   WILLIAMSPORT           43%  10%   0%
  
   RHODE ISLAND
     
   PROVIDENCE             37%  10%   0%
  
   SOUTH CAROLINA
     
   BEAUFORT                3%   0%   0%
   CHARLESTON              3%   0%   0%
   COLUMBIA                0%   0%   0%
   FLORENCE                3%   0%   0%
   GREENVILLE              3%   0%   0%
  
   TENNESSEE
     
   BRISTOL                17%   3%   0%
   CHATTANOOGA             3%   0%   0%
   CROSSVILLE             14%   7%   3%
   JACKSON                 7%   3%   0%
   KNOXVILLE              10%   3%   0%
   MEMPHIS                 7%   3%   3%
   NASHVILLE              13%   3%   0%
   OAK RIDGE               7%   3%   0%
  
   VERMONT
     
   BURLINGTON             77%  50%  13%
   MONTPELIER             93%  72%  41%
  
   VIRGINIA
     
   LYNCHBURG              13%   3%   0%
   NORFOLK                 3%   0%   0%
   RICHMOND                7%   0%   0%
   ROANOKE                17%   7%   0%
   STERLING               17%  10%   0%
   VIRGINIA BEACH          0%   0%   0%
   WALLOPS ISLAND         16%   0%   0%
  
   WEST VIRGINIA
     
   BECKLEY                36%   7%   4%
   BLUEFIELD              24%  10%   0%
   CHARLESTON             30%   3%   0%
   ELKINS                 35%  10%   0%
   HUNTINGTON             23%   0%   0%
   MARTINSBURG            24%   3%   3%
   MORGANTOWN             31%   0%   0%
   PARKERSBURG            24%   3%   0%



Here are Northcentral city-by-state probabilities for at least 1, 5, and 10-inch of snow depths on Christmas morning.  Figure 2 displays these probabilities for the continental U.S. in map form at 20 percent intervals.

(Figure 2.)

                           1"   5"  10"
   ARKANSAS
    
   FORT SMITH             10%   0%   0%
   LITTLE ROCK             3%   0%   0%
  
   ILLINOIS
    
   CHICAGO                40%   7%   0%
   MOLINE                 47%  10%   0%
   PEORIA                 40%  10%   0%
   QUINCY                 32%   7%   0%
   ROCKFORD               57%  13%   3%
   SPRINGFIELD            33%   7%   0%
  
   IOWA
    
   CEDAR RAPIDS           39%   7%   0%
   DES MOINES             50%  17%   7%
   DUBUQUE                62%  21%   7%
   MASON CITY             57%  30%  17%
   SIOUX CITY             63%  13%   7%
   WATERLOO               70%  13%   3%
  
   KANSAS
    
   CONCORDIA              24%   3%   3%
   DODGE CITY             27%   0%   0%
   GARDEN CITY            25%   0%   0%
   GOODLAND               30%   3%   3%
   RUSSELL                20%   0%   0%
   SALINA                 11%   4%   4%
   TOPEKA                 23%   3%   0%
   WICHITA                23%   0%   0%
     
   LOUISIANA
    
   BATON ROUGE             0%   0%   0%
   LAFAYETTE               0%   0%   0%
   LAKE CHARLES            0%   0%   0%
   MONROE                  4%   0%   0%
   NEW ORLEANS             0%   0%   0%
   SHREVEPORT              0%   0%   0%
  
   MICHIGAN
    
   ALPENA                 83%  47%  13%
   DETROIT                50%  13%   0%
   FLINT                  63%  10%   0%
   GRAND RAPIDS           73%  37%   3%
   HOUGHTON LAKE          82%  56%   0%
   LANSING                73%  17%   0%
   MARQUETTE             100%  86%  71%
   MUSKEGON               70%  37%  13%
   PELLSTON               89%  69%  35%
   SAGINAW                61%  18%   0%
   SAULT STE MARIE       100%  80%  53%
   TRAVERSE CITY          87%  50%  17%
  
   MINNESOTA
    
   ALEXANDRIA             89%  41%  11%
   DULUTH                 97%  63%  43%
   HIBBING               100%  66%  41%
   INTERNATIONAL FALLS   100%  73%  53%
   MINNEAPOLIS            73%  30%  13%
   REDWOOD FALLS          62%  27%   8%
   ST CLOUD               73%  37%  10%
  
   MISSISSIPPI
    
   GREENWOOD               3%   0%   0%
   JACKSON                 0%   0%   0%
  
   MISSOURI
    
   CAPE GIRARDEAU         18%   0%   0%
   JOPLIN                 18%   4%   0%
   SPRINGFIELD            23%   7%   0%
   ST LOUIS               23%   3%   0%
  
   NEBRASKA
    
   GRAND ISLAND           40%  10%  10%
   NORFOLK                57%  17%   7%
   NORTH PLATTE           33%  10%   0%
   OMAHA                  44%   8%   4%
   SCOTTSBLUFF            47%   3%   0%
   VALENTINE              61%  14%   4%
  
   NORTH DAKOTA
    
   BISMARCK               87%  30%   0%
   FARGO                  83%  37%   3%
   GRAND FORKS            89%  46%   7%
   MINOT                  79%  32%  14%
   WILLISTON              79%  31%   3%
     
   OKLAHOMA
    
   MCALESTER               4%   0%   0%
   OKLAHOMA CITY           3%   0%   0%
   TULSA                   7%   0%   0%
  
   SOUTH DAKOTA
    
   ABERDEEN               59%  19%   0%
   HURON                  60%  27%   7%
   PIERRE                 47%  10%   0%
   RAPID CITY             47%   7%   0%
   SIOUX FALLS            67%  27%   7%
  
   TEXAS
    
   ABILENE                 3%   0%   0%
   AMARILLO                7%   0%   0%
   AUSTIN                  0%   0%   0%
   DALLAS                  0%   0%   0%
   EL PASO                 0%   0%   0%
   GALVESTON               0%   0%   0%
   HOUSTON                 0%   0%   0%
   LUBBOCK                 3%   0%   0%
   WICHITA FALLS           3%   0%   0%
  
   WISCONSIN
    
   EAU CLAIRE             87%  33%  17%
   GREEN BAY              77%  40%   3%
   LA CROSSE              66%  28%  10%
   MADISON                67%  20%   7%
   MILWAUKEE              60%  10%   3%
   WAUSAU                 93%  54%  25%
     


Here are Northwest city-by-state probabilities for at least 1, 5, and 10-inch of snow depths on Christmas morning.  Figure 3 displays these probabilities for the continental U.S. in map form at 20 percent intervals.

(Figure 3.)

                           1"   5"  10" 
   ARIZONA
    
   FLAGSTAFF              56%  36%  12%
   PHOENIX                 0%   0%   0%
   PRESCOTT               10%   3%   3%
   TUCSON                  3%   0%   0%
   WINSLOW                20%   3%   0%
   YUMA                    0%   0%   0%
  
   CALIFORNIA              
   
   ALAMEDA                 0%   0%   0%
   BAKERSFIELD             0%   0%   0%
   BISHOP                  3%   0%   0%
   BLUE CANYON            74%  48%  41%
   LONG BEACH              0%   0%   0%
   LOS ANGELES             0%   0%   0%
   SACRAMENTO              0%   0%   0%
   SAN DIEGO               0%   0%   0%
   SAN FRANCISCO           0%   0%   0%
   SANTA BARBARA           0%   0%   0%
  
   COLORADO
    
   ALAMOSA                60%  10%   0%
   DENVER                 50%  13%   7%
   GRAND JUNCTION         40%   7%   0%
   PUEBLO                 28%   3%   0%
   TRINIDAD               37%   3%   0%
     
   IDAHO
     
   BOISE                  30%  10%   0%
   BURLEY                 38%   3%   3%
   IDAHO FALLS            70%  30%  13%
   LEWISTON               10%   0%   0%
   POCATELLO              40%  17%   0%
  
   MONTANA
    
   BILLINGS               63%  17%   0%
   BOZEMAN                73%  17%   3%
   BUTTE                  87%  17%   0%
   GLASGOW                77%  30%   0%
   GREAT FALLS            57%  17%   3%
   HAVRE                  61%  21%   4%
   HELENA                 67%  17%   0%
   KALISPELL              80%  43%   3%
   LEWISTOWN              76%  32%  12%
   MILES CITY             57%  32%   4%
   MISSOULA               73%  20%   0%
  
   NEVADA
    
   ELKO                   47%  13%   0%
   ELY                    50%  13%   0%
   LAS VEGAS               0%   0%   0%
   RENO                   20%   3%   0%
   WINNEMUCCA             37%   3%   0%
  
   NEW MEXICO
    
   ALBUQUERQUE             3%   0%   0%
   CLAYTON                17%   0%   0%
  
   OREGON
    
   ASTORIA                 3%   0%   0%
   EUGENE                  7%   0%   0%
   MEDFORD                 3%   0%   0%
   NORTH BEND              0%   0%   0%
   PENDLETON              13%   7%   0%
   PORTLAND                0%   0%   0%
   REDMOND                20%   7%   0%
   SALEM                   3%   0%   0%
   SEXTON SUMMIT          44%  33%   7%
  
   UTAH
    
   CEDAR CITY             33%   7%   0%
   MILFORD                46%  11%   0%
   SALT LAKE CITY         53%  13%   3%
  
   WASHINGTON
    
   BELLINGHAM             10%   7%   0%
   OLYMPIA                 3%   0%   0%
   QUILLAYUTE              0%   0%   0%
   SEATTLE                 7%   0%   0%
   SPOKANE                70%  30%   3%
   STAMPEDE PASS         100% 100%  96%
   WALLA WALLA            17%   3%   0%
   WENATCHEE              67%  43%  17%
  
   WYOMING
    
   CASPER                 47%  10%   3%
   LANDER                 77%  37%  17%
   LARAMIE                48%   4%   0%
   ROCK SPRINGS           55%  10%   3%
   SHERIDAN               83%  17%   7%



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