Chance of a White Christmas

I just heard Bing Crosby on the radio and it reminded me that it’s time to do the annual post on …

What are the historical chances of a White Christmas (defined as at least an inch of snow on the ground on Christmas Day)? The first map below the shows the odds across the state. It should come as no surprise that the highest odds are in northern Illinois.  In general, the odds are about 40-60 percent in the northern third of Illinois, 20-40 percent in central Illinois, and 0-20 percent in southern Illinois.

There can be large differences between nearby sites. Snowfall is notoriously difficult to measure with the potential for two nearby sites having different results due to exposure to the sun and the wind.


After a cold November, December has been much milder this year. The latest NWS 8-14 day forecast includes December 25 and continues to show Illinois with a good chance of warmer-than-average temperatures. And today there is not much snow in Illinois (map below). Stay tuned to your local forecast as we get closer.  


Here is the national map of the chance of a white Christmas. A discussion of this map can be found at . As you would expect the odds of a white Christmas are highest in Minnesota and Wisconsin for the Midwest. Odds are high in New England and the higher elevations in the West as well.


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