In the United States, if at least one inch of snow falls on the morning of December 25, it gets labeled as a “White Christmas.” While some states in the north and Midwest are the most likely to enjoy a snow day on Christmas, the phenomenon is uncommon in New York, but not impossible. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a federal agency that provides timely information about climate and weather patterns, created a mapthat shows the historic probability of there being at least one inch of snow on the ground in 48 states on Christmas. The darkest gray shows places where the probability is less than 10 percent and the white areas show probabilities greater than 90 percent.
The map uses data based on the Climate Normals between 1981-2010 and then estimates the values. Users can click and zoom into a specific area to see its probability of snow. If you’re dreaming of a White Christmas this year, you might be out of luck if you’re staying in New York City for the holidays, as there’s just a 12 percent chance of at least one inch of snow covering the ground.
Unsurprisingly, Upstate New Yorkers have a better chance of making snow angels after opening presents this year than city-dwellers. Albany is at 49 percent, Syracuse at 58 and Hooker, at 92 percent chance of snow. However, the actual conditions may vary widely from what the map estimates, and it’s helpful to check the local forecast for actual weather predictions on Christmas Day.
Explore the White Christmas map here.