A White Christmas? Depends on Whether You Think It’s Frightful or Delightful
If you've ever seen A Christmas Story - and surely you have - one of the best scenes of the entire movie is when little Ralphie wakes up on Christmas morning, takes a look outside and sees a blanket of freshly fallen snow. What kid doesn't want to wake up to that sight on Christmas morning before flying downstairs to open presents and/or possibly shoot their eye out?
Believe it or not, there are actual betting odds for this.
The top US cities taking money for a white Christmas in 2021 are Minneapolis, Buffalo and Rochester, NY. But for those cities, outside of summer months, that seems to be pretty much business as usual. A quick perusal of various oddsmaker sites shows a range anywhere from 55% to 73% that they'll have snowfall on the ground come Christmas morning.
Rounding out the next few on their lists are Milwaukee, Cleveland and - ahem - Denver.
Historically speaking, the data on Denver is somewhat surprising, with a relatively low average chance of having either snow on the ground or snowfall in the sky on Christmas Day. It's only 38% that an inch of snow or more will be on the ground, and even lower at about 15% that any significant snowfall will occur on that day itself. That's according to data from the National Weather Service, going all the way back to the year 1882.
However, if you narrow your focus a little bit to just the last 30 years, those odds significantly increase to a 50% chance of having an inch or more of snow on the ground Christmas morning. Precisely 15 of the last 30 years have been a white Christmas by that definition.
And here's a fun fact: 2007 was the year with the highest total snowfall on Christmas Day itself, with 7.8 inches of new snowfall that day. Doesn't seem like much, but given we've almost forgotten what monster snowstorms look like, that almost feels like a blizzard by this winter's standards so far.
That begs the question: Do we have any chance of a white Christmas in Northern Colorado in 2021?
If the thought of snow on Christmas morning makes you happy, then the verdict, sadly, is frightful. On the other hand, if you prefer a nice sunny day to open some presents and referee arguments between your kids, things are looking pretty delightful. At least from a weather standpoint.
In other words, it's not looking too good we'll see snow on Christmas this year, at least not as of now. The long range forecast through Christmas - as of this morning, December 14th - shows virtually no chance of precipitation now through the 27th of the month. Our best chance is December 23rd, and that's only a pretty insignificant 7% chance of anything with a high that day close to 50 degrees.
Of course, things could change between now and then. This is Colorado after all, and we'll keep up to date with our friends at Denver7. But if not, there won't be any icicles to blame for breaking your glasses and cutting your face. Your mother is definitely going to know you did, in fact, shoot your eye out. And she told you so!
LOOK: See what Christmas was like the year you were born