What Are Rochester’s Odds of Having a White Christmas?
Seeing as we already have snow on the ground, it's pretty good guess we'll have a white Christmas this year, right? But historically-speaking, what are our chances here in the Med City?
No doubt because of the familiar Christmas song, White Christmas, I've always hoped for snow for Christmas. When I was a kid growing up in central Wisconsin, I always wanted snow so we could go sledding at George Street Hill. And, seeing as we live here in Minnesota, where it's cold anyway, I always figure we might as have some snow, too, to make it look and feel like Christmas.
So, just how likely are we to have a white Christmas here in Rah-Rah-Rochester? (And, by the way, the National Weather Service in La Crosse defines a 'white Christmas' as "having an inch of snow on the ground (or an inch falling that day)," their site says.) And seeing as we already have several inches of the white stuff on the ground (anywhere between 4 to 6 inches, depending on where you are), I'd say the odds are pretty good this year.
And, as it turns out, the odds of having a white Christmas in Rochester are pretty good EVERY year too. According to data from the NWS, Rochester has had snow on the ground 66 out of 85 years since 1933 (when they first started keeping records), meaning we've had a white Christmas 78% of the time.
The last time we didn't have a white Christmas in Rochester was 8 years ago, back in 2011. This year, according to the NWS, the odds of having a white Christmas here in the Med City is nearing the 75% mark, but they also have a warning for us: "With a warm-up expected through the Christmas holiday, much of the current snowpack may melt. Meanwhile, the potential for more accumulating snow (to replenish the snow cover) looks small at this time," the NWS says.