Probabilities of a White Christmas in Northern Michigan

Living in the "Great White North" certainly has its priviliges, not least among them the likelihood for plenty of snow both during the wintertime months, and at Christmas time. The lyrics to Bing Crosby's famous song "White Christmas" evoke memories of Christmases past, as well as the child-like qualities that a good Christmas snow can bring out in all of us. Many of us who live here just expect to have a White Christmas every year given the cold climate in which we live. However, there have been a handful of years out of the last 100 of so that failed to deliver that famous white ground on Christmas morning.

By definition, a White Christmas is defined as a Christmas day that has at least 1 inch of snow on the ground during the morning observation, usually taken around 7am. While many Christmas mornings have featured measurable snow on the ground, the probability is definitely not 100%. Below is a look at probabilities for a White Christmas throughout the country. As can be seen, northern Michigan has a 75-90% probability of having 1 inch of snow on the ground Christmas morning.

So what will this year bring? Most areas of northern Michigan will experience several chances for mainly light snow leading up to Christmas morning, giving at least some hope to those looking at bare ground currently. With that said, those locations closer to Saginaw Bay look to have the lowest chance this year.



Probability of a White Christmas

Last "Green/Brown" Christmas


77 %

2006 (0" on the ground)


90 %

2006 (Trace on the ground

Houghton Lake

80 %

2006 (0" on the ground)

Sault Ste Marie

89 %

2006 (0" on the ground)

Traverse City

79 %

2006 (0" on the ground)

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