A Sliver of Hope for a White Christmas

This time of year, we often find ourselves dreaming of one thing…a White Christmas. But what are the odds of this actually happening? Could this year be the year?

A white Christmas is defined as a Christmas morning in which there is at least one inch of snow on the ground. Based on a report from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), the probability of a white Christmas in the Baltimore Metro Area is between 12 to 25 percent. These numbers are based on historical data from 1961-1990. For a complete list of all the probabilities across the nation, see the full report by clicking here

(Image source: National Climatic Data Center)

While the odds are stacked against us, a white Christmas is still a possibility this year around Baltimore. Check out this morning’s run of the GFS computer model.

(12Z GFS model run, valid for 4 pm on 12/24/11)

By 4 pm Christmas Eve, it shows the development of a coastal low in Virginia. This low is our one shot at a White Christmas. The moisture is there, the crucial ingredient will be the cold air. Right now, multiple models are in disagreement about the timing of the cold air. If the cold air reaches us in time, we could get accumulating snow. If not, we’ll just get rain.

However, and this is a BIG however, we are still a week away, so there is still a great deal of uncertainty with the forecast, whether a coastal low will even develop at all. The bottom line is that I can neither confirm nor deny a white Christmas, but for all you dreamers out there, at least there is still hope!

– Ava Marie

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