Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dreaming Of A White Christmas? Where To Go For One

Last week, we mentioned that our historical odds of a White Christmas are slightly better than one in ten on average and that the odds of us getting a White Christmas this year weren't any better than that.

It's pretty safe to say with the current trends in the pattern, the odds for snow on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day in Philadelphia are remote -- and that you're either going to need to make snow or travel somewhere where there's snow on the ground in order to have yourself a White Christmas.

I pulled a map off of the GFS this morning to look at projected snow cover for Christmas morning -- if you're looking to find snow on the ground on the 25th, the best place to go within driving distance of Philadelphia is downwind of Lakes Erie and Ontario, which should benefit from lake effect snowfall on Friday and Saturday.  If you want to make a longer drive, northern parts of New England look to do pretty well in the snowfall department as well -- likely to have a healthy to significant snow pack in upper portions of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

Elsewhere, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, the Rockies, the Cascades, and Canada look to have themselves varying amounts of snow on the ground as well.  In the case of the Midwest, some of that snow will be a byproduct of the storm system that crosses our region Thursday night combined in Minnesota with snows left over from the storm that hit them a week ago Sunday.

It's probably pretty hard to fathom that there's a good bit of snow on the ground nationally but three-eighths of the country is currently snow covered...and the stripe of real estate in Wisconsin and Iowa that isn't will probably be in a couple of days. Add to that the lake belts of New York and Pennsylvania that will probably get some snow this weekend and we're looking at a bit over 40% of the country with a White Christmas.  Over the past ten years, it would rank 4th or 5th in terms of coverage.

It doesn't matter to those around here who want snow and haven't seen much of it but compared to last year, when only 29% of the country had snow on the ground on Christmas morning, it will be a pretty decent upgrade.