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 this year, based on 30 years of climate records from NOAA. (Check out a bigger, cool interactive map here.)
Best chance of a white Christmas? Most of Idaho, Minnesota, Maine, upstate New York, the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and, of course, the Rockies and the Sierra Nevada Mountains all have a high probability of seeing a snowy December 25. Aspen, Colorado, is just one of about a dozen locations boasting a 100% historical probability of seeing a white Christmas.
This map is based on the 1981–2010 Climate Normals. According to a NAOO statement:
[Climate Normals] are the latest three-decade averages of several climatological measurements. This dataset 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 probability of snow-covered ground on December 25, the actual conditions this year may vary widely.
Read more at Climate.gov
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.