Who Has the Best Chance for a White Christmas?
By Mel Fabrikant Tuesday, December 10, 2013, 08:03 PM EST
AccuWeather Global Weather Center -- 10 December 2013 -- AccuWeather.com reports while many may dream of a white Christmas, the reality of one may not be favorable, depending on one's geographical location during the holidays.
Even though a white Christmas for some may be as simple as a few snowflakes falling, in order for a Christmas to be classified as a white Christmas, meteorologically speaking, snow must fall and stay on the ground with an accumulation of at least one inch.
In order to properly figure out a city's chance of a white Christmas, normal temperatures and typical snowfall for the month of December must be taken into account.
For the best chance of a white Christmas, pack your bags and head to northern New England, Upper Midwest, Rocky Mountains or Intermountain West. Based upon data from 1981 to 2010, these areas have the highest chance in the U.S., more than a 75 percent chance to be exact, for the desired white Christmas.
"The farther north you go in the country, the earlier winter sets in," AccuWeather's Expert Senior Meteorologist Jim Andrews said.
Some of the biggest cities with the best probability for a white Christmas include Minneapolis, Minn., Green Bay, Wisc., Buffalo, N.Y., and Burlington, Vt.
"By Christmas, it's already cold enough that the odds favor precipitation coming in the form of snow," Andrews said.
While historically March and April are Denver's snowiest months due to the city's location on the front range of the Rockies, the Mile-High city has more than a 50 percent chance of a white Christmas.
"Denver is susceptible to Pacific storms, especially if the storm goes by to the south of them, then they get clobbered," AccuWeather.com's Expert Senior Meteorologist Bob Smerbeck said.
Headed eastward, Chicago has less than a 40 percent chance of snow on Christmas due to the area's December temperatures, which usually are unable to keep the snow frozen.
Continuing east due to the influence of milder air from the Atlantic Ocean, Philadelphia, New York City and Washington, D.C. have less than a 25 percent chance of a white Christmas.
"During the early season, the water temperature is still warm," Smerbeck said. "So, the ocean warms the air."
On the opposite coast, also due to the influence of an ocean, the Pacific Ocean makes the chance of a white Christmas in Seattle less than 25 percent. However, the city often sees some snow for the holidays due to the nearby Washington Cascades, which have above a 75 percent chance of a white Christmas.
With an extremely low probability, less than 10 percent, for a white Christmas the cities from San Francisco to Los Angeles, as well as across central and southern Florida will most likely remain snow-free for the holidays.
By Kristen Rodman, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer