Chances of a White Christmas in Illinois

What are the historical chances of a White Christmas (defined as at least an inch of snow on the ground on Christmas Day)? The map below shows the odds across the state. It should come as no surprise that the highest odds are in northern Illinois.  In general, the odds are about 40-60 percent in the northern third of Illinois, 20-40 percent in central Illinois, and 0-20 percent in southern Illinois.

There can be large differences between nearby sites. Snowfall is notoriously difficult to measure with the potential for two nearby sites having different results due to exposure to the sun and the wind.

Because of our pattern of cold and snowy conditions in December so far, and the NWS forecast for colder and wetter than average conditions through at least December 26, I would say the odds of seeing a white Christmas are probably much higher this year!

WC_Chance_8110

On the national map below, you can see what the historical odds of a white Christmas are across the US. Personally, I have mixed emotions about a white Christmas. Yes, it is nostalgic, especially if you grew up in the Midwest like me. And the decorated houses look spectacular with snow on the ground instead of brown grass. But it does complicate travel plans.

Chances of a White Christmas across the US. National Climatic Data Center (NOAA).
Chances of a White Christmas across the US. National Climatic Data Center (NOAA).
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