Will We Have a White Christmas?

Will we have a white Christmas? Whether we’re hoping for a classically picturesque landscape or trying to arrange travel plans, it’s a question often asked this time of year. But what is a white Christmas? Is it snow existent on the ground or is it snow falling from the sky? Based on 30 years of historical data (provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA]), here’s a look at the probability of snow across the United States on December 25th year-over-year.

(click to enlarge)
The above map shows the historical probability of snow being present on the ground on December 25th between 1981 and 2010. Regions like the Rocky Mountains, Northern Minnesota and Northern New England are consistently likely to have snow on the ground, while other regions are much more dependent on variable weather patterns.

(click to enlarge)
The chances for snow falling on Christmas Day for the same period are less than 25% for most regions in the United States. Even the above-mentioned regions most likely to have snow on the ground have less than a 50% chance of seeing it falling.

(click to enlarge)
Precipitation probabilities for December 25th, 2016 are displayed in the above map via data from the Velocity Suite Extended Range Forecast dataset. Snowflakes indicate regions most likely to receive precipitation as snow.
For information or questions on how to use tools within the Velocity Suite, please contact Customer Support.
Sean Hedges – GIS Analyst