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Will it be a white Christmas in Minnesota this year? An interactive map shows the historical probability

What are the odds we will have a white Christmas this year?
What are the odds we will have a white Christmas this year? 02:22

MINNEAPOLIS — One of the perks of enduring Minnesota's frozen tundra during the holiday season is the likelihood of a white Christmas.

Now, there's an interactive map from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that lets you see the historic probability of 1 inch or more of snow on Dec. 25. NOAA used three decades of data (1991 to 2020) from weather stations across the United States to make the map.

Shocking no one, Minnesota is among the states with the highest probability of snow on Christmas. How high that probability is, however, varies quite a bit depending on where you live. For example, areas in southern and central Minnesota see a white Christmas about 70% of the time, while parts of northern Minnesota get one about 90% of the time.

Based on 124 years of snow depth measurements, the probability of a white Christmas in the Twin Cities is 71%. Chances of having at least five inches drops to 32% and 10 inches, down to 11%.

"Actual conditions in any year may vary widely from these because the weather patterns present will determine the snow on the ground or snowfall on Christmas day," the NOAA said. "These probabilities are useful as a guide only to show where snow on the ground is more likely."

Last year, there was 10 inches of snow on the ground in the Twin Cities on the morning of Dec. 25. But there have been several brown Christmases in the Twin Cities in recent years, including 2021, 2018 and 2015. 


The current record for the deepest snow cover on Dec. 25 was back in 1983, when there were 20 inches of snow on the ground in the Twin Cities. That also was among the coldest Christmas Days on record, with a high just 1 degree above zero.

From 1899 to 2022, there have been 36 years with either no snow or just a trace.

The coldest on record was in 1996, when the high was 9 degrees below zero.

NEXT Weather meteorologist Lisa Meadows says dreams of white Christmas are threatened by climate change, which is warming our winters. We're also in El Nino this year.

"El Nino usually means for the state of Minnesota that we're going to have milder temps and also less than average when it comes to snowfall," Meadows said. "But it is still possible. We could get a rouge storm that could head in right before we head into Christmas so there's always a chance."

Stay tuned to WCCO's NEXT Weather coverage to see what's in store for us this year.   

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