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    Blizzard, Lake-Effect Snow Increase White Christmas Chances

    By , Meteorologist
    December 22, 2012; 5:45 AM ET
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    A white Christmas is more likely for parts of the U.S., following a blizzard. Lake-effect snow will continue to increase the odds for some into this weekend.

    * - Since many people may have a different idea of what constitutes a white Christmas, it is being defined in this story as a snow depth of an inch or more on Christmas Day.

    Mountains in West Have Highest Chance of White Christmas
    While a western storm train continues into next week, the Cascades in Washington and Oregon, the Sierra in California and the Rockies are expected to have a white Christmas this year.

    As much as 2-4 feet of snow has blanketed the mountains of the West over the last several days, so there is a substantial snowcover.

    Flagstaff, Ariz., has a decent chance of a white Christmas. There is currently a snow depth of a foot on the ground from heavy snow that fell last weekend and a couple of inches that fell through Tuesday night. While some of the snow will melt, there is yet another snow opportunity for fresh snow on Christmas Eve into early Christmas Day.

    Flagstaff could have between half a foot to a foot of snow on the ground on Christmas Day.

    While there is not much snow on the ground now in Salt Lake City, Utah, snow may arrive on Christmas Eve. That may be just enough to provide a white Christmas.

    Denver received windswept snow on Wednesday. A second round of snow may occur Christmas Eve night into Christmas Day.

    Good Chance for a White Christmas Across Upper Midwest
    Meanwhile, a huge storm brought blizzard conditions from the Rockies to the central Plains and the Upper Midwest during the middle of this week. Cities from Omaha to Green Bay picked up substantial snow from this storm. Many communities were buried by a foot of snow.

    Whether areas impacted by the storm have a white Christmas or not will depend on where cold air sticks around to keep snow on the ground.

    Midwest Blizzard Photos, Videos

    The Upper Midwest, including the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Wisconsin, and portions of lower Michigan may stay cold enough for a white Christmas. In fact, reinforcing cold air and lake-effect snow downwind of the Great Lakes through the weekend will increase the chances for many communities.

    One to two feet of snow will blanket the typical snowbelts downwind of the Great Lakes.

    The chance for a white Christmas may be lower for the central Plains, including portions of Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and Iowa, where temperatures may warm up enough to melt snow.

    Northern New England May Have White Christmas, Mid-Atlantic Not Likely
    Northern New England and areas to the lee of the Great Lakes have the best chance for a white Christmas in the East.

    Snow will arrive with a storm across northern New England into the weekend. This storm will drag much colder air into the Northeast, triggering lake-effect snow downwind of the Great Lakes.

    A weak storm system sliding through the region on Christmas Eve night has the potential to bring a quick burst of mixed precipitation. There remains the possibility that residents from Pittsburgh to Boston could wake up to a bit of fresh snow on Christmas morning.

    A more substantial East Coast storm may arrive after Christmas.

    Thumbnail image from intstagram user Allie Kat.

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