"White Christmas" Climatology!

Posted: November 30, 2017, 10:33 pm by jmartucci

From the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping to the relaxing quiet time spent with family and friends, the Christmas season is upon us yet again. No matter what the scene, many of the iconic holiday images all have one thing in common: snow! While there are different interpretations of a White Christmas, meteorologists define it as at least 1 inch of snow on the ground on December 25th by 7AM. This means snow does not necessarily have to fall on Christmas to count as a White Christmas. For us in the Midwest, we see our fair share of White Christmases, but exact geographic location does impact how often we wake up to a blanket of snow on Christmas Day.



For Midwestern snow lovers, Chicago is the place to be for a White Christmas. The Windy City has the greatest percentage of an official White Christmas out of the five Midwest cities analyzed, with 42% of years seeing at least an inch of snow on the ground. Indianapolis, Dayton and Columbus all average a White Christmas about once every four years. However, Cincinnati only meets the White Christmas criteria about once every six years, on average.



Meeting the 1 inch criteria occurs often enough but notice how rare it is to observe more than 6 inches of the white stuff Christmas morning. Although more difficult, it does happen! Remember the pre-Christmas 2004 snow storm when a long duration snow event took shape from December 22nd to the 23rd? Nearly a foot of snow fell in Indianapolis while Dayton broke its two day record as 16 inches of snow buried the city! Bitterly cold air rushed in behind it, keeping snow cover in tact just in time for Christmas morning. Indianapolis and Cincinnati both measured daily snow depth records of 9 inches while Dayton had a whopping 14 inches of snow on the ground, also a Christmas record.

As colder weather starts to settle in as we head through the month, be sure to follow us on social media as we talk about upcoming events. And, if you have any photos or videos you take while any snow is falling, be sure to send them over to us on Facebook or Twitter! 

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