Snow or No Snow: The Great Debate

The big debate continues…will it snow on Christmas this year? Snow lovers are hoping for “yes”, travelers are hoping for “no”.  Here is where we stand so far…

Latest run of the GFS model still indicates the development of a coastal low this holiday weekend, but the timing has slowed down (precipitation is indicated by the shades of green and blue).  This would make the storm more of a Christmas Day event rather than Christmas Eve.


(6 Z GFS model valid for 4pm on 12/25/11)

A slower moving storm would give the cold air a better chance to catch up to the storm  (notice the blue dashed line over Maryland. This line indicates that the atmosphere may be cold enough for it to snow) 

However, the model is also steering the storm further to our south before moving it offshore.  This means that most of the available moisture would stay to our south as well. So what does this all mean?  Based on this model alone, the forecast would be: rain/snow mix developing Christmas morning, then a change over to light snow.  Drying out by the afternoon.

However, since the computer models are having a difficult time agreeing about this storm, the forecast is still very uncertain at this point.  As always, we’ll know more as we get closer!  For now, be prepared for the possibility of light wintry weather on Christmas day.

On another note:

The National Weather Service released a public information statement about Christmas Weather Statistics for Baltimore and Washington, D.C.  I’ve summarized the information for Baltimore below:

Baltimore, MD — Christmas Statistics

·  10% chance of measurable snow fall on Christmas

·   20% chance of either measurable snow fall or snow already being on the ground from a previous storm

·  35% chance of any type of measurable precipitation

·  Average Christmas Day Weather since 1872: Partly Cloudy, Low: 26 High: 43

Observed Weather during the past 10 Christmases

2010 –> Cloudy with Light Morning Snow, Low: 29 High: 34

2009 –> Cloudy with Afternoon Rain Low 19, High 42

2008 –> Partly Sunny with falling temperatures Low 32, High 59

2007 –> Partly Sunny and Mild Low 30, High 50

2006 –> Cloudy with Afternoon Rain Low 30, High 50

2005 –> Cloudy with Afternoon Rain Low 24, High 42

2004 –> Sunny and Cold Low 17, High 31

2003 –> Mostly Sunny and Blustery  Low 28, High 41

2002 –> Rain mixed with snow/sleet, 1 inch of accumulation Low 32, High 38

2001 –> Partly Sunny and Cool Low 23, High 40

– Ava Marie


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