This is the time of the year that everyone asks if we will see a white Christmas. In tonight's blog, I want discuss how often we actually have a white Christmas in the Ohio Valley and the chance of us seeing one this year.
How Often Do We See A White Christmas?
Louisville has about a 9% chance of a white Christmas with southern Indiana closer to the 15% category. This means Louisville statistically has a white Christmas about once every 10 years.
It feels like we see a white Christmas more often than that, but this is what the statistics indicate.
A White Christmas This Year?
The fact is there will likely be a very strong storm somewhere from the Great Lakes to the Northeast US on Christmas Eve and winding down a bit on Christmas day. The brunt of this storm will miss us, but windy conditions will dominate our entire region on Christmas Eve. The real question is if this storm can produce snow here. Both the EURO and GFS put us on the back side of this complicated low on Christmas Eve. The details of this low are going to be extremely difficult to resolve now because the potential for a powerful nor'easter is on the table if the Great Lakes low tries to transfer it's energy to the New England coast. The EURO and GFS disagree on some of the details of the storm system, but both put us in a ploom of some snow showers on Christmas Eve.
GFS Forecast For Midday Christmas Eve
Notice the GFS shows light snow showers on Christmas over our area, but it is clear that the intensity is not very high. These are wrap around snow showers and traditionally don't leave an accumulation.
With only these wrap around snow showers, you can see the GFS shows virtually no snowfall accumulation with this storm. Considering that it would 53 degrees the day before the snow showers, this would have nearly not chance of accumulating.
The EURO computer model shows the same complex "double barrel" low transfering energy from the Great Lakes to a powerful nor'easter. The EURO also does put us in the back side snow shower zone, but again not any major snowfall.
EURO Forecast For Midday Christmas Eve
Notice the EURO shows a similar signal for snow showers on Christmas eve. The intensity is rather light and the EURO shows surface temperatures above freezing. This is a setup that would mitigate any chance for accumulations.
Looking at the normally wild EURO snowfall totals, you see it shows no indication whatsoever that we will have a white Christmas.
My Thoughts On Our Chances For A White Christmas...
Its funny, earlier I asked a few people what they considered a white Christmas and I was surprised to hear different responses. Some felt that if snow showers occur, then it is a white Christmas while others said it had to be accumulated on the ground. I fall into the category that a white Christmas means the ground is covered in snow. With that, I will consider a white Christmas as one with a covering of snow on the ground.
The EURO and GFS computer models continue to show large storm system that will occur in the middle of next week then on Christmas Eve transfer it's energy to a nor'easter. How this process unfolds is still not clear within the data thus far With that said, there is no reliable data to show anything more than snow showers will affect us on Christmas Eve with windy conditions. In fact, look at the projected wind gusts by the EURO on Christmas Eve and you can see winds over 30 mph could occur.
While I feel we will see snow showers with blustery winds on Christmas Eve, none of the data shows any legit snow accumulation so the prospect of a white Christmas looks very low at this point. We will keep watching the data since the complex details of this powerful low next week are not set in stone at this point.
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