This map shows your chances of a white Christmas

Flickr | Filippo

Are you hoping to wake up to a fresh coat of fluffy snow on the ground on Christmas morning? Depending on what state you live in, you could have a good chance at having that wish come true.

Though it’s still too early to tell whether or not you’ll experience this small Christmas miracle, you can find out what the overall likelihood of seeing snow on Christmas day is, based on historical weather data.

The National Weather Service looked back at countrywide weather reports on Christmas Day for every year between 1981 and 2010. Using that information, it determined the probability of any given place in the United States having at least one inch of snow on the ground on Dec. 25.


As detailed in the key on the map, the dark gray areas along the West Coast and the southern United States depict a nearly non-existent chance of seeing any snow on the ground Christmas morning.

However, if you’re in the Rocky Mountains, the Upper Midwest or the Northeast, you are much more likely to have snow on the ground come Dec. 25.

The probability map was configured based on climatological research, which was determined by looking at historical data. Of course, a white Christmas still isn’t guaranteed, no matter what part of the country you live in. Whether or not residents of certain states will actually wake up and see snow this Christmas morning will depend on the weather pattern at the time.

As explained in 2016, “While the map shows the historical probability that a snow depth of at least one inch will be observed on Dec. 25, the actual conditions in any year may vary widely from these because the weather patterns present will determine the snow on the ground or snowfall on Christmas day. These probabilities are useful as a guide only to show where snow on the ground is more likely.”

christmas snow photo
Getty Images | Christopher Furlong

As of now, Christmas is still a little too far off to predict exactly what kind of weather we’ll have in various states on the holiday. But in the meantime, you can check out the original interactive map from the National Climatic Data Center.

Who knows? Your dream for a white Christmas could come true!

Jason Meyers is a part-time meteorologist and big-time fan of looking up. You can follow him on Twitter or watch one of his entertaining and educational YouTube videos.

Holiday & Seasonal, Science & Nature

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About the Author
Jason Meyers
Jason Meyers is a meteorologist and nature enthusiast who once made a number of entertaining and educational YouTube videos.

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