For those of you dreaming of a white Christmas, here’s a map that shows which places in the contiguous United States have the best chance of having a snowy holiday in 2018, based on 30+ years of climate records from NOAA. (Click and zoom on your hometown on a bigger, cool interactive map here.)
Best chance of a white Christmas in 2018? Minnesota. Maine. Upstate New York. The Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Practically anywhere in Idaho. And of course, the Rockies or the Sierra Nevada Mountains. These are the parts of the United States where weather history suggests you want to be if you’re looking for the best chance of a white Christmas. (There are no predictions for Alaska because the station network in Alaska is too sparse to allow scientists to interpolate with confidence.)
These predictions are based on the latest (1981-2010) U.S. Climate Normals from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. The 1981–2010 Climate Normals are the latest three-decade averages of several climatological measurements. This collection contains daily and monthly normals of temperature, precipitation, snowfall, heating and cooling degree days, frost/freeze dates, and growing-degree days calculated from observations at approximately 9,800 stations operated by NOAA’s National Weather Service.
While the map shows the historical probability that a snow depth of at least one inch will be observed on December 25, the actual conditions in any year may vary widely from these because the weather patterns present will determine the snow on the ground or snowfall on Christmas day. These probabilities are useful as a guide only to show where snow on the ground is more likely. For prediction of your actual weather on Christmas Day, check out your local forecast at Weather.gov.
If you would like to keep track of the snowfall across the United States on a daily basis, see the National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center’s National Snow Analyses.
Bottom line: Probability of a white Christmas 2018 in the United States.
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