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Are you dreaming of a White Christmas? In 2023, your dreams might come true! Of course, lots of snow can also affect travel plans. As always, The Old Farmer’s Almanac looks ahead with our special Christmas Forecast 2023.
Christmas! ‘Tis the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart. –Washington Irving, American writer (1783-1859)
White Christmas Weather Forecast 2023
White-out! Are you a lover of that classic snowy White Christmas? According to The 2024 Old Farmer’s Almanac, most of the United States and Canada will experience near-to-above-normal snow!
Snowfall will be above normal across the most snow-prone areas, except for the Pacific Northwest. So, if you love to travel to ski country—whether out West to the Rockies or East to the Appalachians- you’ll be in luck!
Will There Be A White Christmas Where You Live?
According to the 2024 Old Farmer’s Almanac Christmas Forecast:
New England: There will be a white Christmas in the mountains, but not in the foothills and along I-95.
Atlantic Corridor: There will not be a white Christmas.
Appalachians: There will be a white Christmas in the higher terrain of West Virginia in the north, but not elsewhere in the region.
Southeast: There will not be a white Christmas.
Florida: There will not be a white Christmas.
Lower Great Lakes: There will be a white Christmas from New York westward to Wisconsin, but not south of I-90.
Ohio Valley: There will not be a white Christmas.
Deep South: There will not be a white Christmas.
Upper Midwest: There will be a white Christmas.
Heartland: There will be a white Christmas.
Texas–Oklahoma: There will not be a white Christmas.
High Plains: There will be a white Christmas, mainly north of I-70.
Intermountain West: There will be a white Christmas.
Desert Southwest: There will be a white Christmas in the highest terrain of central Arizona, but not elsewhere in the region.
Pacific Northwest: There will be a white Christmas across the mountains and foothills, but not along coastal locations.
Pacific Southwest: There will be a white Christmas across the Sierra Nevada mountains, but not in the valleys or along the coast.
Alaska: There will be a white Christmas.
Hawaii: There will not be a white Christmas.
Will There Be a White Christmas in Canada?
Our neighbors to the north are in luck for sleigh rides and snowball fights this holiday season!
The Atlantic side of Canada will see a white Christmas across northern Newfoundland and northern New Brunswick, but not farther to the south. Southern Quebec, Southern Ontario, and the Prairies will all have a white Christmas. Meanwhile, there will be a white Christmas in Southern British Columbia for inland areas, but not along the Pacific Coast.
How Cold Will It Be?
At the same time, winter will be colder-than-normal in most of the northern tier states, Midwest, Great Plains, and Rockies. It will be warmer than normal from New England and the Atlantic Corridor down through the Southeast to Florida and in the southern half of Texas.
If you love the idea of a White Christmas, find out where snow is most likely! Based on NOAA historical weather data (based on 30-year data sets), here are the odds. Any surprises?
Northeast and Great Lakes
Northern Maine, Minnesota, North Dakota, Michigan, and Wisconsin can practically guarantee a blanket of snow on Christmas Day since snow begins falling earlier in the month and these northern areas have freezing temperatures to avoid snow melt. In Minneapolis, it’s an 80% chance. Over northern Michigan and especially the Upper Peninsula, as well as northern Minnesota, 3 out of every 4 years on average feature a white Christmas. Even greater odds exist over northern North Dakota.
In the White Mountains of northern New Hampshire, it’s a 97% odds; northern Vermont has a 75 to 95% chance.
In central and southern New England, there’s a 50-50% shot shot in a random year; Boston’s odds are only 20%.
Around upstate New York and western New England, it’s just over a 50-50 shot. Cleveland’s odds are 1 in 3 and Chicago only 2 in 5 for Christmas Day.
Moving west towards Montana and Idaho, the odds of a White Christmas are quite good but also very consistent; it may be cold but some areas are also dry with the precipitation needed for snow. Missoula, Montana has a very high 98% chance. Idaho City, near Boise, is also high with a 94% chance. Salt Lake City is only 50-50 odds.
Colorado also varies greatly depending on the proximity of the mountains.. East of Denver is only 40% and Boulder is 47% yet southwest of Boulder, it’s 77%! The same goes for southern Rockies; elevation and can make a difference; even Flagstaff, Arizona, has a 44% chance of snow.
Low Chances in Rest of the Country
Don’t expect high odds in the Plains, Mid-Atlantic, the South, Texas-Oklahoma, Missouri, or western and central Tennessee. We’re talking very low chances (perhaps 20%). Washington D.C. has only 6% odds.
So if you want a White Christmas or, conversely, want to escape snow on Christmas Day, consider the historical odds and the Old Farmer’s Almanac Christmas Forecast! Our only surprise is how low the odds are for most of the country.
Catherine Boeckmann loves nature, stargazing, and gardening so it’s not surprise that she and The Old Farmer’s Almanac found each other. She leads digital content for the Almanac website, and is also a certified master gardener in the state of Indiana. Read More from Catherine Boeckmann