It could be a white Christmas for several northern US states this year, with as many as 16 states forecast to see snow over the holidays.
Much of the country has already felt the effects of a extraordinary winter snowstorm that began the week before ChristmasAnd while the storm is expected to pass by Christmas Eve, snow and freezing temperatures will still be in the forecast for many over Christmas weekend.
“Compared to the days leading up to Christmas, Christmas Day seems pretty quiet,” AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Tom Kines told USA TODAY. “Christmas Day itself, all things considered, isn’t that bad.”
Kines added that this year there will be a “big difference” from last year when much of the country saw no snow on the holidays.
Here’s what you should know about having a white Christmas this year:
What is a white Christmas?
A white Christmas is simply when it snows, or there is snow on the ground, on Christmas Day. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association defines a white Christmas as at least an inch of snow on the ground.
Where will it be a white Christmas in 2022?
Up to 16 states could have snow on Christmas, according to Accuweather forecasts as of Tuesday afternoon. The Pacific Northwest, Midwest, and Northeast regions of the US are where snow is expected. Major cities like Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Buffalo, Anchorage, and Helena were all able to see snow.
Here are the states and regions that could see snow on Christmas, according to Accuweather:
- southern and eastern alaska
- eastern washington state
- Northeast Oregon
- Northern and southeastern Idaho
- Northwestern and central Montana
- Northeast Wyoming
- northern wisconsin
- northern and central illinois
- almost all of ohio
- Almost all of West Virginia
- Northern and Western Pennsylvania
- Nearly all of New York State except Southeast New York
- northern vermont
- Northern and central New Hampshire
- Northern and Eastern Maine
If your region isn’t listed here, that doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on a white Christmas. If you have snow from the winter storm still on the ground, that counts.
“It’s going to be a big part of the country that gets snow on Christmas Day. Probably two-thirds of the country,” Kines said.
If snow is not expected in your area, chances are you will have at least cold temperatures, according to The Weather Channel. Only the Los Angeles area is expected to see temperatures above 80 degrees.
Where does a white Christmas most often occur?
A white Christmas is a rare thing for some people, while for others it’s almost a guarantee. Snow at Christmas commonly occurs in the northern part of the US, and NOAA says that’s where you can expect it the most.
Based on data from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information from 1991 to 202014 states have areas that have at least a 90% historical chance of having at least one inch of snow on the ground, while 25 states have less than a 10% historical chance of snow.
Some states, such as California, Utah, and Washington, have areas with a probability greater than 90% and also areas with a probability less than 10%.
Here are the states that have areas with a historical 90% chance of having snow on the ground at Christmas:
- North Dakota
- new hampshire
If you want to check the probability of your zone, you can do it here.
US Weather Radar
Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jordan_mendoza5.
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