Here’s the million dollar question this time of the year. Will we have a White Christmas?

Some people will! Obviously haha but what exactly defines a White Christmas?

An inch of snow at 7AM on Christmas day is what the NWS defines as a White Christmas. I think it could be defined as snow falling on Christmas day but that’s just me.

Let’s talk about White Christmas chances on a normal year.

A White Christmas is almost always guaranteed in the Rocky Mountains, the Northern Plains, near the Great Lakes and the Northeast.

But really – this is just a normal. We all know it takes one random storm to change all of this. Let’s take a look at the EURO on Christmas day: 

This shows snow likely for the Sierra Nevada, the Wasatch and other parts of the inner-mountain west. This also shows some snow possible around Chicago. 
But what about snow on the ground by midday on Christmas?
This is the EURO as well. This shows snow ON THE GROUND on Christmas day. Areas shaded in any color is accumulated snow. Gray colors are areas where minor snow will be.

For the sake of showing uncertainty with this I want to show the GFS model as well:

Here’s the GFS on Christmas day. This shows the same system over the inner mountain west as the EURO but it shows more snow coverage. So areas like Boise, Salt Lake City and maybe even Flagstaff could see some flakes on Christmas. It also shows that weak little disturbance around the Great Lakes. And more rain for the Gulf Coast.

Now for GFS snow coverage on Christmas day:

This doesn’t have as much snow coverage as the EURO but it is similar. This this essentially just giving us an idea of what to expect. Nothing that is solidified.

Moral of the story – there’s decent chances for a White Christmas in numerous locations. The further north you are or the further up in elevation you are, you have the better chance of seeing snow on Christmas but you don’t need me to tell you that.

Something interesting to watch post-Christmas is a developing storm from the West. The system that the EURO and GFS picked up on for Christmas day would be the storm to watch for the end of next week.


The EURO shows a pretty potent winter storm impacting the High Plains on the 27th. This could bring some measurable (and much needed) snow to the Denver area but also create havoc for anyone trying to travel.

The GFS shows something very similar to the EURO:

In a very similar fashion – the GFS is showing a possible potent winter storm developing.

We’ll have to watch this one closely for some big disruptions travel wise just before the New Year.

That’s all for now! Hopefully you get the Christmas weather you want!

~Rain or Shine
  I’m Andy Stein 

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