White Christmas Forecast: Do the Odds Favor Your City?

By , Meteorologist
December 25, 2013; 5:41 AM ET
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The northern Plains, Upper Midwest, northern New England and Rockies are most likely to have a white Christmas this year, since substantial snowpack is already established.

Jump to: Northern Plains and Upper Midwest | Northeast and Ohio Valley | Southeast and Central and Southern Plains | West

White Christmas is defined by NOAA as an inch of snow on the ground on Christmas Day.

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Northern Plains and Upper Midwest

Much of the Dakotas, Minnesota, eastern Iowa, Wisconsin and northern and western Michigan will have a white Christmas, where up to 20 inches of snow is covering the ground. Very cold air will keep the deep snow in place through Christmas. Portions of northern Illinois and northern Indiana are likely to have a white Christmas.

Additional snow will whiten portions of the Midwest on Christmas Day.

Enough snow is on the ground downwind of the Great Lakes that it will stick around for Christmas, with the exception of areas to the lee of Lake Erie. Additional snow showers early this week will add a coating to a couple of inches for the snowbelts.

Northeast and Ohio Valley

Rain and record-shattering warmth surged into the Ohio Valley and East Coast, causing rapid snow melt last weekend. Highs climbed 20 degrees above normal and, in some cases, broke more than 100-year old record highs for the date on Sunday.

Some heavier snow squalls moved across southern New York and into Long Island. Some spots picked up a quick inch of snow, thus a lucky few in those areas will indeed have a white Christmas.

Northern New England, the eastern Great Lakes and the central Appalachians are most likely to have a white Christmas in the Northeast.

Southeast and Central and Southern Plains

Some areas that typically have less than a 25 percent chance of a white Christmas are likely to have one this year. A weekend storm unleashed 5-10 inches and locally more than a foot of snow across northern Missouri and eastern Kansas. Portions of northern Oklahoma and the northern Texas Panhandle received 3-6 inches of snow.

The Southeast, which rarely has a white Christmas, will not be an exception this year.


The Rockies have been receiving abundant snow so far this season, so a white Christmas is in the cards.

Farther west, Seattle and Portland will not have traces left behind of the rare snow that fell late last week, but the Cascades will be white with snow for Christmas.

Those visiting Lake Tahoe in the Sierra will also have a white Christmas. Besides the Sierra, the rest of California will not have a white Christmas.


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