Sunday, December 9, 2007

White Christmas?

Here are the questions that come up every year

"Do you think it'll snow for Christmas?"
"Will we have a white Christmas?"
"What are the chances for a white Christmas?"

I've done some research and have some answers. In the Cookeville, Tennessee area, we have a 14% chance for at least 1-inch of snow. That, of course, hardly covers the grass and fallen leaves. We only have a 7% chance for 5 or more inches. Back in 1963, we had six inches fall on Christmas Eve and in 1962, four and a half inches fell on Christmas Day. There are other places you can go to guarantee a white Christmas!

According to the National Climatic Data Center, only five places in the continental U.S. have a 100% chance of having at least 1-inch of snow on the ground. Those would be Marquette MI, Sault Ste Marie MI, Hibbing MN, International Falls MN, and Stampede Pass WA. Greatest probability for at least 5-inch snow depth (continental U.S.): 100% - Stampede Pass WA. Greatest probability for at least 10-inch snow depth (continental U.S.): 96% - Stampede Pass WA.

Odds of A White Christmas (map from USA TODAY).

Probability of at least one inch of snow on the ground Christmas Day. Note: This is not a forecast. (National Climatic Data Center map.)

Map from


MTWC said...

Nice post! I'll link it to MTWC. I really don't care whether or not we have snow on Christmas because I am used to not having snow then. It is time for us to get used to new things on Christmas! ;)

Michael Detwiler said...

Clay, I agree...we need a snowy Christmas!

Mike Wilhelm said...

Our chances down in Alabama are much lower. There has never been a true "white" Christmas down here that I have ever heard of. Maybe a few flurries or a dusting, but to my knowledge, we have never had snow falling from the sky with at least 1" accumulation in my lifetime.


Member-American Meteorological Society