Odds of a White Christmas

What are the chances of a white Christmas across eastern North Dakota and northwest through west central Minnesota in any year?  The graphic below shows that most of our area has at least a 75 percent chance of a white Christmas with a 90 percent or better chance for most of northwest Minnesota.

Odds of a White Christmas

The table below shows some interesting information on two locations in our region for the past 60 winters (1948-2008).

       On Christmas Day                                Fargo                         Grand Forks
                                                                                                              UND/NWS

  • Average snow depth                     4.1 in.                              4.8 in. 
  • Maximum snow depth                  17 in.  1996                    27 in. 1996
  • Percent of Occurrence                  83%                                 89%
  • # Years with <1in snow depth     10  times                        6 times
  • Last  brown Christmas                  2006                               2006

What are the chances for a white Christmas this year? The current forecast calls for light snow on and off the next few days, with temperatures remaining below freezing into the middle of the month. Based on the long range outlooks and climatology, the odds favor a White Christmas in the Red River Valley and Lakes Region this year.




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