♩♫♪ I’m Dreaming Of A White Christmas ♩♫♪
2016-12-23 21:32:53.000 – Ryan Knapp, Weather Observer/Staff Meteorologist
Since starting with the Observatory back in 2005, I have spent six of my Christmas’ on the summit of Mt Washington. One big plus about working up here on Christmas Day is the ability to have the postcard worthy White Christmas as songs, TV shows, movies, etc all suggest Christmas should look like. Not every year was stellar for snowfall; however, a lot or a little, all that really mattered is that every year up here looked like a White Christmas. Adding to that look is the coating of rime ice on all objects up here making it look like someone lost control of a flocking machine. This year is no exception – currently we have over a foot of snow/ice coating the ground on/around the summit and we have been in the clouds the past few days so everything looks freshly flocked. With more snow and fog expected over the weekend, it looks like I will have yet another White Christmas to file away in my memory.
While I know Mt Washington will typically have a White Christmas, how about elsewhere? Earlier this month, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI
) compiled 30 year climate normal’s and created a probability of at least 1 inch of snow on Christmas map. This map (seen below) shows where you need to be in the country for the best probability to get snowfall. That’s not to say that areas in white will always see snowfall, it is just pointing out where statistically you should have a White Christmas.
NCEI map – Probability of at least 1 inch of Snow on Christmas
Now when you compare this map to today’s snowfall coverage map from the NWS National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center (NOHRSC) map (below) or Intellicast’s Snow Cover Map (below) it is looking like a White Christmas for almost 50 percent of the lower 48 (if splitting hairs, it is 42.9% of coverage as of 12/23). This is far better than it was looking like leading up to and on Christmas Day last year when only 37.2% of the lower 48 was covered; for New England, only northern Maine lucked out last year (map below). So if you’re in New Hampshire and dreaming of a White Christmas, it is looking like this will be your year.
NOHRSC map – National Snowfall Coverage map as of 23 December 2016
Intellicast map – National Snowfall Coverage map as of 23 December 2016
NOHRSC map – National Snowfall Coverage map Christmas Day 2015
Ryan Knapp, Weather Observer/Staff Meteorologist