Will it Snow on Christmas This Year?
Children who grew up with The Hill had a special kind of childhood. Everyone flocked to the long, steep slope that skirted their homes for sledding and rolling and trudging, temporarily employing the homeowners as hot chocolate baristas and wet glove and coat checkers. But the kids with the short, flat lawns could only hope for enough snow to make a proper snowman or snow angel, and to fill their Christmas window with holiday cheer.
This story is for those children, who ask only for a white Christmas, just enough snow to mask the brown-green of winter. This story is, of course, also for the kind of people with the fantastic lawns, but less so, especially in the case of my former neighbor Ethan, who never invited me over to play, because I didn't ask, or really present myself, but still, it's your fault, Ethan, and I'll never forget it for the rest of my days.
Aaaanyway, what are the chances you'll see a white Christmas this year? Well, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) "Historical Probability of a White Christmas" map suggests that people in Minnesota, Maine, Idaho, regions in Colorado, Upstate New York, The Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania and West Virginia are most likely to see some snow on Christmas. However, these predictions are solely based on climatology, meaning average weather conditions, not current weather forecasts. So, to help you get a better idea of what to expect in your region, we went ahead and also took a look at major weather forecasts. Fun fact: A "White Christmas" is defined as having an inch or more of snow on the ground, according to The Weather Channel.
Here's what we know so far (we'll be keeping this story updated as more forecasts are released): As of December 16, it's predicted that Christmas will be "free of major travel headaches," according to weather.com. "A southward plunge of the jet stream in the West will continue to produce scattered areas of rain and mountain snow," per the report. "Some of the energy from the West could kick into the Plains and produce an area of rain or snow, but specific details are uncertain."
According to AccuWeather Founder and CEO Dr. Joel N. Myers, Christmas Eve snow showers may drop a thin sheet of snow on some in Pennsylvania, New York and the New England region, but New York City and areas to the south won’t be impacted by the front. Myers said there will likely be no white Christmas southwest of Boston, excluding Providence, southern Connecticut, New York City, Washington, Philadelphia, Baltimore from the winter wonderland.
Folks in the Upper Midwest will see little snowfall Christmas Eve into the holiday, as well, but low temperatures are expected to keep the grass covered by the snowfall of yore. Myers says there will be a white Christmas “In the Upper Midwest, the Dakotas, Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, northern Michigan and northern and central New England.” Unlike in the Northeast, the average snow will be higher than last year.
AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowsk said “a storm is likely to put down some snow over parts of the interior Southwest, mainly over the mountains in Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada just prior to or during Christmas Day," but that cities like Salt Lake City and Denver are going to miss out.
Southerners already know what I'm going to say: No shot.
The West Coast & Mountain West
Forecasters predict snowfall in areas such as the Rockies, Cascades and Sierra Nevada, but hold onto little help for lawns to be covered in lower-level towns. Nothing will be happening in California, aside from some potential rain.
Historically, the Intermountain West has the highest chance of snow, with northern New England and the far northern tier trailing shortly behind. Tahoe City, California has seen 52 inches and Denver's seen two feet, there was next to no snow in both locations last year. According to the The Washington Post, evidence suggests that the decrease in White Christmases is climate-driven...
...But have a holly jolly Christmas, y'all!