We are now less than two weeks away from Christmas, so you may be wondering if you will have a white Christmas. First of all, a white Christmas is defined as having at least one inch of snow on the ground on Christmas Day. Historically, the higher elevations and northern latitudes of the United States have the higher chances for snow on the ground on December 25th. Obviously, in the South, the chances are low for any given year. In the central Plains through the Ohio Valley and into the Mid-Atlantic, the chances are quite low as well, at between 10 and 40%.
Of course every year is different, so let’s focus on the actual forecast for Christmas of 2017. This forecast may change, but based on the recent model guidance and analogs, a classic La Niña pattern is expected to set up around Christmas. That means there will be cold air over the Central US, and a ridge of high pressure with warmer than normal temperatures over the Southeast. That warm air will probably creep up the East Coast. Between the cold and warm air, from the Southern Plains to the Northeast, there may be an active storm track with snow falling in the cold air and rain and potentially severe storms in the warm sector.
Based on what we know right now, we think that the greatest chance for a white Christmas is in the northern and central Plains as well as in the Upper Midwest. Again, we are still weeks away from the holiday, so stay with WeatherOptics as we forecast your white Christmas chances.