White Christmas 2018 forecast: Who has the best shot at snow?
By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
December 23, 2018, 4:47:20 AM EST
Following far-reaching snowstorms from November and early December, a lack of Arctic air will generally limit the chances of a white Christmas to the northern tier states and the mountains of the West for Dec. 25, 2018.
The standard for a white Christmas is an inch of snow on the ground during the morning, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
Most of the storms that have the potential to put down heavy snow in the days leading up to Christmas will roll in from the Pacific Ocean and blast the Cascades, Sierra Nevada and parts of the Rockies.
Along the West coast, the best chance for having snow on the ground will be at or above 3,000 feet in the northern Cascades and at or above 5,500 feet in the northern Sierra Nevada.
Most of the snow will already be on the ground prior to Christmas Day in the West, with some exceptions. A storm that dips southward across California from Christmas Eve to Christmas Day may spread some snow to intermediate elevations of the interior Southwest.
What's the history behind dreaming of a white Christmas?
The best and worst times to travel for Christmas
Winter solstice: Everything you need to know about the shortest day of the year
Post-Christmas storm to strike the central US with snow, rain and thunderstorms
Farther to the east, a weak storm is forecast to produce some snow over the Upper Midwest, Ohio Valley, northern mid-Atlantic and eastern Great Lakes on Sunday and in New England on Sunday night and Christmas Eve.
Another weak system may follow on its heels, bringing a narrow swath of mainly light snow or a wintry mix to the upper part of the Mississippi Valley on Monday night and to areas farther east over the Midwest on Christmas Day.
These two systems have a chance of bringing enough snow to fulfill the minimum 1-inch requirement near and north of Interstate 80.
However, the snow may have to survive temperatures at or above freezing for several hours during the day on Christmas Eve.
In the East, the best bet for a white Christmas will be over interior parts of northern New England and some of the higher elevations of the central and southern Appalachians. This will generally be from old snow.
South of these areas, along the immediate Pacific coast and much of the mid-Atlantic and southern New England coasts, a white Christmas is not likely at this time.
Download the free AccuWeather app to check the Christmas forecast for your area.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
More Weather News
Weather News - January 22, 2019, 6:39:31 AM EST
Snow and ice will sweep through the midwestern United States into Tuesday night ahead of the next blast of Arctic air poised to arrive late this week.
Weather News - January 21, 2019, 10:22:17 PM EST
A skier died in an avalanche on Monday outside Aspen, Colorado, the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office said.
Weather News - January 22, 2019, 3:57:08 AM EST
As a potent storm slides across the interior West, shifting winds will create difficult travel for some motorists across Southern California and the southwestern United States in general into the middle of this week.
Weather News - January 21, 2019, 11:33:17 AM EST
Parts of western Europe, including much of the Netherlands, Belgium and France, will look like a winter wonderland beginning on Tuesday.
Weather News - January 22, 2019, 2:55:35 AM EST
Following a quick blast of Arctic air, a slow-moving storm will drench the southern United States and raise the risk of localized flooding spanning Tuesday to Thursday of this week.
Weather News - January 21, 2019, 9:34:56 AM EST
Flu season is in full swing, and according to this week’s FluView report, seasonal influenza activity remains elevated in the United States as the flu is widespread in most of the country.
Weather News - January 21, 2019, 10:41:39 AM EST
A total lunar eclipse glowed red in the night sky on Sunday night, the last of its kind anywhere in the world until 2021.
Weather News - January 21, 2019, 2:41:17 PM EST
A dangerous winter storm moved across the Midwest and Northeast this past weekend, blanketing areas of the region with snow and bringing some of the lowest temperatures of the season.