What Are The Odds That Rochester Has A White Christmas?
T-Minus 15 days until Christmas and we've had some snow already this year, but what is the probability that the snow will stay through Christmas? Well, pretty good considering we live in Minnesota. The National Weather Service has put together a map to show the statistical probabilities that we see a 'white' Christmas.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources helped with the definition of what a white Christmas is. To have a white Christmas it means having at least 1 inch of snow on the ground on Christmas Day. In Minnesota, the best chances of having a white Christmas is almost guaranteed in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and a good part of the Arrowhead.
The chance for a white Christmas goes down as we go further to the south and west and the best chance for a "brown" Christmas is in far southwest Minnesota where chances are a little better than 60%.
In 118 years of snow depth measurements in Twin Cities, a white Christmas happens about 72% of the time. From 1899 to 2017 there have been 34 years with either a "zero" or a "trace." The last time the Twin Cities has seen a brown Christmas was 2015.
Closer to home, here in Rochester, we have a 75% historical chance at a white Christmas. Enjoy the holidays, as NOAA, on the same website, has predicted when we typically see the coldest temps of the year here in Southern Minnesota and it generally seems to happen 3 to 4 weeks after Christmas.