The mere threat of a huge snowstorm during the holidays is enough to wreak all kinds of havoc during some of the year’s busiest travel days. Still, plenty of people perennially hold out hope for a white Christmas, and the prospect of waking up to a fresh coat of snow on the ground the morning of December 25. There is literally a song about it.
Of course, expecting a storybook blanket of white stuff in areas of the country that rarely see temps below freezing is a bit unreasonable, but, hey, we’re not here to crush your dreams. And a dusting of the stuff isn’t necessarily out of the question in typically warm climates.
So, what are the chances that the weather gods will deliver a proper white Christmas where you are this year? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) “Historical Probability of a White Christmas” map suggests most of Idaho, Minnesota, Maine, Upstate New York, as well as the Allegheny Mountains in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, the Rockies, and the Sierra Nevadas will have at least an inch of the stuff on the ground. Though, that’s just based on climatology and not current weather conditions.
So, to figure out which places have the best shot at a getting some frozen precipitation on or ahead of Christmas Day 2018, we consulted a number of forecasts from around the country for the next week. Protip: if you really want to be surrounded by snow, you should probably head out west.
Right now, it doesn’t look like there will be much in the way of precipitation come Christmas Day for a significant chunk of the Northeast, per current AccuWeather predictions. That’s not to say there won’t be white stuff on the ground in some parts, it’ll just be from old snow. Right now, there’s snow on the ground in large swaths of New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, as well as parts of northern Pennsylvania and western Massachusetts.
There is a chance, though, that a weak storm on December 23 and 24 will bring some snow a bit further south in the central Appalachians. As long as temps in those areas don’t climb too high above freezing in the coming days, it should still be there on December 25. However, with the exception of northern New England, a band of heavy rain expected along the I-95 corridor on Friday could threaten any current snow levels.
There’s a good chance there will be snow on the ground across quite a large chunk of the Upper Midwest. Specifically, most of Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula will still have some on the ground. Parts of northern Illinois, Ohio, and Iowa are also likely to see at least an inch snow on the ground come December 25. As for actual forthcoming precipitation, a weak storm on Christmas Eve is expected to bring some snow and a wintry mix to the Northern Plains before it moves east and dumps some white stuff north of I-80, according to AccuWeather.
According to Weather.com, there is currently no snow cover anywhere in the South (with the exception of some spots in the Central Appalachians). Things aren’t looking too promising in terms of frozen precipitation, either, as the entirety of the South is labeled as “not likely” to see a white Christmas. But, hey, there’s always southern… Canada?
The West and Pacific Coast
The West is probably the most wintry place to be this Christmas. Much of Oregon, Idaho, Washington, and northern Nevada are currently covered in snow, and that will remain to be true on Christmas Day according to Weather.com. There are also a handful of storms expected to roll in off the Pacific and dump snow on the Cascades, Sierra Nevadas, and the Northern Rockies.
Obviously, weather forecasts are notoriously unreliable and these current predictions could change at any time. Though based on how things are looking right now, it’s probably best for the majority of America to settle in for a less than wintry white Christmas this year.