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White Christmas Forecast: Areas Most Likely to See One

By Meghan Evans, AccuWeather.com Meteorologist
December 21, 2013; 4:18 AM

A parade of snowstorms has been aiming at the U.S. recently, increasing the chances for many to have a white Christmas.

An early week storm unleashed up to 6-10 inches of snow over portions of New England, including from Boston to Portland, Maine, which just received a round of snow over the weekend. Some locations from northern Pennsylvania to northern New England received more than a foot of snow from the weekend storm.

@LindseyAanonsen tweeted: "I'm loving all this snow in the forecast I hope we have a white Christmas"

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Communities to the lee of the eastern Great Lakes across upstate New York received up to 4-6 feet of lake-effect snow last week.

Current snowcover and the weather pattern through Christmas will determine who will still have an inch of the snow on the ground on Christmas Day, which is the definition of a white Christmas according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"The Rocky Mountains, Upper Midwest, Great Lakes and interior Northeast are most likely to have a White Christmas due to a well established snowcover," AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson said.

The areas most likely to see a white Christmas this year are among areas favored to see one on any given year, due to the fact that enough snow and cold are typically in place by the holiday.

However, as the weather pattern flip-flops from a cold and snowy one to a warmer one leading up to Christmas, major cities along the I-95 corridor from Boston to New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., are not likely to see a white Christmas.

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In addition, a few areas that often have a white Christmas and will not get one this year may include the eastern foothills of northeastern Colorado, eastern Wyoming and higher elevations of Arizona, Anderson said.

The zone from northern Texas to Missouri may be a wildcard. While these areas typically do not see a white Christmas, with less than a 25 percent chance based on climatology, it is not out of the question this year.

A disruptive storm will spread a swath of snow from the Texas Panhandle to Michigan this weekend. Snow amounts of 3-6 inches are possible across the zone from the northern Texas Panhandle to northern Missouri, where snow amounts could locally reach up to a foot. Where amounts pile up enough, snowcover could stick around through Christmas.

The areas very unlikely to get a white Christmas are not out of the ordinary. Much of the West Coast and Deep South will not have snow on the ground for Christmas.

While an inch of snow is not likely to be on the ground in the I-95 corridor of the Northeast, flurries could dust the ground in spots by Christmas morning.


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