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White Christmas Outlook

Jason Samenow @ 3:19 AM

While I've been known to begin posts with song lyrics, I can't bring myself to commence this with Irving Berlin's "White Christmas"... Too cheesy, too predictable. Besides, did you know Irving Berlin hated Christmas? (Actually, it's a sad story).

Last week, I promised I would do an analysis of the probability of a White Christmas in Washington, DC. Well, the National Weather Service did all the work for me, and produced a nice summary. Here are the highlights:
  • In the past 133 years, snow has fallen on December 25 only 9 times, or 7% of the time.
  • Snow has been on the ground on Dec 25 just 18 times, or 14% of the time.
  • Snow last fell on Christmas in Washington in 2002 when a fraction of an inch accumulated.
What about this year? Per the previous post, the next storm system (for Sunday night) will not likely produce accumulating snow. However, next week will be active weatherwise (although, despite what the icons on the top of this page show, it is not going to snow everyday) -- with a significant storm system forming midweek, and very cold air emerging from Canada. It's still too early to determine what the storm will bring (my hunch is a wintry mix). But based on overall pattern, here's my outlook for the probability of a White Christmas this year:

30% probability of snow on the ground
15% probability of snow falling on Christmas Day

(That's double the usual odds, but still not great.)

May all your Christmases be white...

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