From the ABC 7 Weather team

White Christmas this year? Not looking likely

December 20, 2012 - 05:00 AM
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Could you wake up to a White Christmas this year? What areas stand the best chance?

While the western and central parts of the U.S. are going full throttle into winter this week, the East can’t seem to buy a snowflake. So, what are the odds of a magical turnaround in the weather pattern and snow for Christmas Day in Washington?

First of all, what defines a “White Christmas? At least 1 inch of snow being on the ground the morning of Dec. 25. This does not necessarily mean that the snow fell on Dec. 24 or 25.

Statistically speaking, it’s a rare occurrence to have a White Christmas in Washington. There is a 15% chance that snow will be on the ground on December 25th with an even lesser chance (8%) of snow falling on Christmas Day. This means 1 in about 6 Christmases will see snow on the ground while 1 in 12 Christmases have snow falling on Christmas Day.

The last time there was enough snow on the ground to qualify as a White Christmas was 2009 only because of the leftover from the mid-December blizzard that walloped the Mid-Atlantic. The last time snow fell on Christmas Day was in 2002; 0.2 inches accumulated in Washington.

Christmassnow

An average Christmas Day in the Nation’s Capital is partly cloudy with a high of 44 degrees following a morning low of 30 degrees. Guess what? The look ahead to Christmas Day as of now is for just that; partly cloudy to mostly sunny skies and highs in the middle 40s. Click here for the latest forecast.

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Heavy snow that will blanket the western Maryland mountains and Potomac Highlands of far western West Virginia will likely remain on the ground through Christmas Day. Otherwise, the Plains with the midweek blizzard, Northeast and Mountain West are the other lucky areas of the U.S. that will have a White Christmas.

Have a safe and enjoyable holiday season!

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