Friday, December 16, 2016

Chances of snow on Christmas?

It's Friday and we are just over one week from Christmas. Some of you have been asking me about the possibility of a white Christmas.

First, we define a white Christmas by having 1" of snow on the ground Christmas morning, or it could fall that day. In most years, there is only a 10-20% change of it actually happening. So the odds are stacked against us. Last year, we had temperatures in the 50s. 

But look at this. Since 2000, we have been beating the odds. We've had 5 years with snow on Christmas, with the last one happening in 2013. There was a blizzard just before the holiday in 2007. 

It is staring to look like we will have a Christmas storm this year too. Now, we are still more than a week away and there will be changes to the forecast; I can promise you that. The changes could include everything from storm track, to temperatures, precipitation amounts and type. But computer models are coming into agreement that we will have a storm in the Plains on Christmas Day. (click on any image to make it larger)

European model - usually more reliable several days out

GFS (American model)
If I had to make a forecast for the 25th now, I'd say it looks like a rain turning to snow setup. How much and where is only a guess this far out. The storm is basically an idea right now... not reality. If the storm track is farther south, it's more likely we'd get snow. But the one computer model that seems to handle the extended forecast the best is hinting at a track across Oklahoma. In my mind, this gives us a rain changing to snow setup. 

Kids will be excited, even some adults too. If you plan to travel, you probably hope we don't have a storm at all. Bottom line is that we do have something to watch carefully as we get closer to Santa's arrival in just 9 days! Whew... where does the time go.

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