Aren’t we all dreaming of a White Christmas? Sure we are! But what are the chances we actually have one?
Odds aren’t that bad…
In order for it to be a “White Christmas” let’s agree that that means there is about 1 inch or more of snow on the ground. I think that makes the most sense. In fact, this is how meteorologists everywhere determine whether a Christmas is considered “white”: there must be an inch or more on Christmas morning or it doesn’t count.
In Southeast Michigan, the odds of having an inch on the ground on Christmas morning are actually pretty good, sitting at 47%.
Since 1900 we have had 116 Christmases and 54 have been “white”.
For many people though, 1 inch just isn’t enough… they are hoping for a full blanket of snow (say, 5” or more). The odds of that: about 1 in 5, or 20%, historically speaking.
Random fact I found in researching this: the “whitest” Christmas ever was in 1951 when the day ended with nearly 13” of snow on the ground. I also learned that “Dragnet” premiered on NBC about a week prior to that, so maybe people got a good chance to catch up on re-runs. Ahh, the things you find while researching.
In order to get a snapshot of what has happened around here recently so I went back and looked at Christmas the last 6 years. Here’s what I found:
2015: No snow; High of 50 degrees
2014: No snow; Rained Christmas Day
2013: No snow; Big melt off before Christmas
2012: Yes snow; Another 5.8” next day too
2011: No snow; 47º on Christmas Day
2010: Yes snow; 5” on the ground!
As for this year, I actually think there’s a good chance there will be snow on the ground! Long range models aren’t showing a big warm up, which means the snow we got this past weekend and any snow that we see from now until Christmas will likely stick around.
Another snow maker could move through around December 17th or 18th drop some more snow on the ground. Without melting temps, all this snow likely won’t be going anywhere.
Therefore, I’ll go on the record saying I think we will have a “White Christmas” and not only that, but I think we’ll have a good chunk of snow actually on the ground at that time.
Santa will be happy!
History of 'White Christmas'
Did you know: White Christmas wasn't even written at Christmas time. Irving Berlin got the idea in January of 1940!
According to NPR, he asked his musical secretary to write down a song and said about it "Not only is it the best song I ever wrote, it's the best song anybody ever wrote."
Imagine no Christmas music. Imagine 100.3 didn't go all holiday all the time in November. Thanks to Berlin, you don't have to; his Christmas hit started the musical phenomenon that we celebrate every winter.