White Christmas? Weather forecast does not show snow for most of the United States

  • America’s fascination with a White Christmas dates back to at least 1942, when Bing Crosby sang the melancholy song from the movie “Holiday Inn”.
  • Fewer white Christmases appear to be associated with warmer temperatures due to climate change.
  • Only about 28% of the United States except Alaska had snow as of December 21. This is below the 10-year average of 34%.

A white Christmas seems unlikely this year for the vast majority of the United States, according to meteorologists.

“There’s not a lot of snow on the ground right now,” AccuWeather meteorologist Paul Walker told USA TODAY. Excluding Alaska, only 28% of the United States was covered with snow as of December 21, the The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration noted. This is below the 10-year average of 34%.

A White Christmas occurs when there is at least 1 inch of snow on the ground on Christmas morning, according to Météo.com. It doesn’t have to be snowing on vacation for this to happen.

Places that sometimes have a snowy holiday season certainly won’t be this year. For example, Chicago shouldn’t see a white Christmas. And with no measurable snowfall so far, Chicago is experiencing a record-breaking snow drought to start the city’s snow season, the National Meteorological Service noted.

On average, Chicago records its first snowfall around November 18, and December 20 was the last recorded date, AccuWeather said.

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If you want a white Christmas, head north or west: depending on NOAA, most of Idaho, Minnesota, Maine, upstate New York, the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania and West Virginia, as well as the Rockies and Sierra Nevada Mountains all have strong likelihood of seeing a white Christmas this year.

But, on average, the chances of a White Christmas have dwindled across the country recently, and climate change may be to blame.

From 1981 to 1990, nearly 47 percent of the country had snow on the ground on Christmas Day, with an average depth of 3.5 inches, according to an analysis of ground observation data by the University of Arizona. .

But from 2011 to 2020, Christmas snow cover had fallen to 38%, with an average depth of 2.7 inches.

Scientists claim that the decline in the number of White Christmases is relatively small and refrain from drawing any conclusions. But fewer White Christmases appear to be associated with warmer temperatures due to climate change, said Victor Gensini, professor of meteorology at Northern Illinois University.

University of Arizona atmospheric scientist Xubin Zeng, who published studies on shrinking snowpack in the western United States linked to climate change, said the decline in White Christmases is consistent with the global warming.

In 20 to 30 years, “with global warming, the prospects for a White Christmas in many parts of the United States will be really slim,” said Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado.

The country’s fascination with a White Christmas dates back to at least 1942, when Bing Crosby sang the melancholy song from the movie “Holiday Inn”. Written by Irving Berlin, the song’s lyrics bring out a fictionalized image of Christmas past.

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America's fascination with a White Christmas dates back to 1942. When Bing Crosby first sang the melancholy song from the movie Holiday Inn.

Contribution: The Associated Press



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