Nearly every holiday movie out there shows us picturesque scenes of snow covering the ground on Christmas morning, but what’s the probability of you actually waking up to a blanket of white?
Well, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a pretty good idea of which places have the best climatological probability of seeing at least an inch of snow on the ground by Dec. 25.
NOAA determined the probability based on the 1981-2010 climate normals, which are three-decade averages of variables ranging from temperature to precipitation. The Climate Normals are calculated based on observations at 9,800 stations operated by NOAA’s National Weather Service.“For example, the minimum temperature normal in January for a station in Chicago, Illinois, would be computed by taking the average of the 30 January values of monthly averaged minimum temperatures from 1981 to 2010,” NOAA explained on its website.
Most of Idaho, Minnesota, Maine and Upstate New York have a high probability of seeing snow based on historical data.
And, of course, mountain living also helps the odds. The Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania and West Virginia, along with the Rockies and the Sierra Nevada Mountains also have a pretty good chance of seeing snow, according to NOAA.
Then, there are about a dozen places, including Aspen, Colorado, that have a 100 percent historical probability of a white Christmas.
But even if you live in one of the places where the odds for a white Christmas are pretty good, don’t get your hopes up.
“The actual conditions this year may vary widely from these probabilities because the weather patterns present will determine if there is snow on the ground or if snow will fall on Christmas Day,” NOAA noted.
Be sure to check your local forecast of Weather.gov for a prediction of weather conditions on Christmas.
Read more stories from Alix Hines on Circa.