Looking back at the past three decades, how often does your town have snow for Christmas Day?
ARKANSAS, USA — Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Dreams are one thing but what about reality? Half the country, geographically, has at least a slight chance of having an inch of snow or more for Christmas morning. It is mainly based on how far north or south you live, how high up in elevation you live, and how close you live to large bodies of water. Some waters help create more snow while others help prevent snow.
Tap HERE for a look at this year’s winter outlook 2022-2023.
The National Weather Service recently updated white Christmas chances based on date from 1991-2020. The southern fringe of snow chances has been pushed north as winters slowly become warmer across the United States. For example, white Christmas chances in Arkansas have been cut in half. (Scroll down to Arkansas for more details)
The best chance for snow lies in the higher elevations of the Rocky Mountains, the northern Plains, the Great Lakes, and the northern ranges of the Appalachian Mountains (Adirondack Mountains, Green Mountains, and White Mountains).
We have a state-by-state look at what your chance of a white Christmas is.
Chances are too low. A very rare even could bring snow to the northern counties of the state.
ALASKA | 8-10 Christmases per decade
Chances for a white Christmas are extremely high. Some coastal areas may be green at low elevations but snow is likely a couple thousand feet up.
ARIZONA | 0-3 Christmases per decade
As one of the desert southwest states, snow is limited to the mountains, especially in the northern and eastern parts of the state, including the San Francisco Peaks.
ARKANSAS | 0-1 Christmases per decade
The vast majority of Arkansas has a less than 10% chance of a white Christmas. Some of the tallest mountains in extreme NW Arkansas have a 10-15% chance for snow by Christmas morning.
CALIFORNIA | 0-10 Christmases per decade
White Christmas chances for California are exclusive to the mountains of the Sierra Nevada, Klamath, and Coastal.
COLORADO | 1-10 Christmases per decade
The summits of most mountains in Colorado should have snow for Christmas. Towns in the valleys are hit or miss but many have a great chance for a white holiday. The eastern Plains tend to be green (or brown). Once in a while there may be some snow by Christmas. Denver has a 50/50 shot.
CONNECTICUT | 2-5 Christmases per decade
Most of Connecticut has just under a 50% chance for a white Christmas. There are few more green Christmases than white Christmases historically. Coastal areas have a slightly less chance thanks to warmer ocean temperatures.
DELAWARE | 0-1 Christmases per decade
Delaware tends to not have white Christmases, thanks to the warmer ocean temperatures that help keep the peninsula warmer.
Florida will stay green (or brown) for Christmas.
Georgia has a green Christmas the vast majority of the time. The only place with a slight chance would be in the far north in the terrain of the southern Appalachians.
Hawaii remains green for Christmas. Some volcano tops can turn white.
IDAHO | 3-9 Christmases per decade
Much of Idaho can have a white Christmas, especially in the mountains and toward the east, including the Bitterroot Range. Areas near and south of Boise have more green Christmases than white Christmases.
ILLINOIS | 0-4 Christmases per decade
Illinois has more green Christmases than white Christmases. Areas north of I-70 can get a white Christmas once every 4 years.
INDIANA | 1-4 Christmases per decade
Indiana has more green Christmases than white Christmases. Areas north of I-70 can get a white Christmas once every 4 years.
IOWA | 3-6 Christmases per decade
Iowa is generally split by I-80. Areas north have more white Christmases than green Christmases, while areas south have more green Christmases.
KANSAS | 0-2 Christmases per decade
Kansas generally tends to have a green Christmas. Some locations can have snow by December 25th once every 10 to 8 years.
KENTUCKY | 0-2 Christmases per decade
Most of Kentucky has green Christmases. Areas north and east in the terrain can get a white Christmas about once every 10 years.
Louisiana will stay green (or brown) for Christmas.
MAINE | 6-9 Christmases per decade
Maine tends to have white Christmases more 7 or more times every 10 years. This is thanks to a northern latitude with colder air, plus the terrain of the White Mountains.
MARYLAND | 0-3 Christmases per decade
If you want a chance for a white Christmas a couple times a decade, you have to head west of Baltimore toward Hagerstown and the higher terrain of the Appalachians.
MASSACHUSETTS | 2-6 Christmases per decade
Coastal Massachusetts can have a few white Christmases every decade thanks to warmer ocean temperatures, but better chances lie in the western half of the state toward the Berkshires. In the west, there is a greater than 50% chance for a white Christmas.
MICHIGAN | 3-9 Christmases per decade
Many locations across Michigan have a great chance for snow for Christmas Day. In the upper peninsula, snow chances are high thanks to lake-effect snow from Lake Superior. The lower peninsula ranges to higher than 50% chances for a white Christmas to the west close to Lake Michigan. Areas east toward Detroit generally have 3 or so white Christmases per decade.
MINNESOTA | 6-9 Christmases per decade
White Christmas chances are high across Minnesota, especially north of I-94. Areas close to the Canadian border tend to have a white Christmas 8-9 times per decade.
Mississippi will stay green (or brown) for Christmas.
MISSOURI | 0-3 Christmases per decade
Snow chances for Christmas Day across Missouri are low. Much of the Show-Me state gets a white Christmas one or two times every 10 years.
MONTANA | 7-10 Christmases per decade
Much of Montana has a white Christmas more than half the time. Areas west in the higher terrain of the Rockies, white Christmases are almost guaranteed.
NEBRASKA | 2-5 Christmases per decade
The Plains of Nebraska can heat up and cool down quickly in December, depending on the wind direction. Most of the state gets a white Christmas three or four times per decade.
NEVADA | 1-5 Christmases per decade
The best chance for a white Christmas across Nevada is in the extreme west toward Reno in the higher terrain, or farther north to the Idaho state line, including the Ruby Mountains.
NEW HAMPSHIRE | 5-8 Christmases per decade
White Christmases are frequent across New Hampshire, especially throughout the White Mountains. Except for coastal areas, the chance for a snow on Christmas Day is greater than 75%.
NEW JERSEY | 0-3 Christmases per decade
New Jersey’s chances for a white Christmas are low thanks to the warmer waters of the Atlantic. The northern half of the state can get a couple white Christmases per decade.
NEW MEXICO | 0-9 White Christmases per decade
New Mexico’s white Christmases chances are based on elevation. Mountainous areas can have several per decade, especially in the far north. These include the Taos Range and the Sacramento Mountains.
NEW YORK | 2-9 Christmases per decade
New York great differs on white Christmases. Coastal areas only get one or two per decade. Areas farther west near Lake Erie and Lake Ontario can get white Christmases more than half the time. The Adirondack Mountains mainly have white Christmases.
NORTH CAROLINA | 0-1 Christmases per decade
Only mountainous areas in the west have a chance for a white Christmas.
NORTH DAKOTA | 6-9 Christmases per decade
Cold Canadian air helps bring several white Christmases to North Dakota. Areas north of I-94 have a white Christmas 7-8+ times per decade.
OHIO | 1-5 Christmases per decade
White Christmases are hit-or-miss across the Buckeye State. Areas south of I-70 only have a white Christmas once or twice a decade. To the north, it can happen 3 or 4 times a decade. In the snow belt of Lake Erie, white Christmases jump to 5-6 or more times a decade. It essentially depends on the timing of a lake-effect snow storm.
OKLAHOMA | 0-2 Christmases per decade
Much of Oklahoma as an extremely low chance for a white Christmases. The panhandle can have 1 or two chances per decade.
OREGON | 0-10 Christmases per decade
Oregon’s white Christmas chances greatly depend on elevation and proximity to the ocean. Coastal, low-lying areas will be green. However white Christmas chances are almost guaranteed high up in the Cascade Range.
PENNSYLVANIA | 1-5 Christmases per decade
The complex terrain of Pennsylvania differs the chance for a white Christmas greatly. Central and northern Pennsylvania gets a few chances per decade. Closer to Philadelphia, a white Christmas chance comes but once or twice a year.
RHODE ISLAND | 1-4 Christmases per decade
Coastal areas of Rhode Island get a white Christmas just once or twice a decade. Inland areas can get one three or four times a decade.
South Carolina will stay green (or brown) for Christmas.
SOUTH DAKOTA | 4-6 Christmases per decade
The chance for a white Christmas is fairly high across South Dakota is fairly high. Northern and eastern areas gets snow on Christmas more than half the time. Also the Black Hills west of Rapid City have a 50% chance or greater for snow.
TENNESSEE | 0-1 Christmases per decade
Unless there is a rare snowstorm, Tennessee stays green for Christmas. Only areas in the far east in the higher terrain of the Appalachian Mountains will get a white Christmas maybe once a decade.
TEXAS | 0-1 Christmases per decade
Unless there is a rare southern snowstorm, Texas stays green and brown for Christmas. Areas in the extreme northern Panhandle can get a white Christmas maybe once a decade.
UTAH | 1-10 Christmases per decade
The complex terrain of Utah greatly differs the chances for a white Christmas. Areas far in the southwest rarely have Christmas snow. The mountains of the Wasatch Range (and areas surrounding) almost always a white Christmas. In between it’s about a 50% chance.
VERMONT | 6-10 Christmases per decade
Thanks to the northern proximity of Vermont plus the Green Mountains, most of the state gets many more white Christmases than green ones. The chance is a bit lower to the west closer to the Hudson River.
VIRGINIA | 0-3 Christmases per decade
Coastal and central Virginia do not generally get white Christmases. Mountains areas in the Appalachians can get a white Christmas one to three times per decade.
WASHINGTON | 0-10 Christmases per decade
Low-lying, coastal areas do not get white Christmases. The Olympic Range and the Cascade Range usually get white Christmases.
WEST VIRGINA | 1-4 Christmases per decade
West Virginia generally gets a white Christmas a couple times a decade, especially in the Appalachians.
WYOMING | 4-10 Christmases per decade
Eastern areas get a white Christmas a few times per decade. Areas to the west in the Wind River Range and the Uinta Mountains usually are white for Christmas.
To see your exact chance for a white Christmas, tap HERE.
-5NEWS Chief Meteorologist Matt Standridge