By Heather Brown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – For weeks, you’ve asked our weather team: Will Dec. 25 be a winter wonderland or will our lawns look sad?

The National Weather Service defines a white Christmas as at least one inch of snow on the ground. So how often do we get them?

Good Question.

“Our chances here in the Twin Cities are kind of iffy,” Director of Meteorology Mike Augustyniak says. “Iffy is the best I can do.”

The historical chances are 72 percent, which is about three of every four years.

If you want a virtual guarantee, head up to the middle of the arrowhead of northern Minnesota, where chances of snow are 100 percent. You could also head out west to the Rockies or to the northern parts of New York or New England – that’s where you get at least an inch of snow more than 90 percent of the time.

The chances for a white Christmas haven’t changed much in Minnesota over the past 30 years.

“One thing that’s interesting to think about, though, over the next several years as our climate continues to warm is what will happen to our white Christmas chances,” Augustyniak said. “The truth is, we’re not 100 percent sure at this point because there are two competing factors at play.”

Warmer air has more moisture, which could mean more snow or it could get so warm “that cold air could be erased completely and then we could start to see those numbers go down.” Augustyniak said. “In Minnesota, it could go either way.”

Last year, there was one inch on the ground. Christmas in 2016, four inches of snow blanketed the area.

Heather Brown


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