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Dreaming of a White Christmas?

us probabilities northeast probabilities

Probabilities of a white Christmas for select US and Northeast cities.

We’ve calculated the probabilities for an inch of snow on the ground on December 25th, based on data from 1968-2017, for select U.S. and Northeast cites. Fairbanks, AK always tops our list, as they’ve had a white Christmas for the last 50 years! Pinkham Notch, NH comes in second with a 91% probability. You only need an inch of snow on the ground for a white Christmas, but how much has there been in the past?

On Christmas day 1970, Pinkham Notch, NH had 50 inches of snow on the ground and Portland, ME had 39 inches. December 1970 still holds the record for the snowiest December in Portland, ME, which received 54.8 inches that year. New England was quite snowy that December, with multiple snowstorms, two of which occurred the week leading up to Christmas. They brought blizzard conditions and some motorists were rescued by snowmobiles. When wishing of a white Christmas, be careful what you wish for!

1966 snow storm

Several locations had the most snow on the ground for Christmas 1966, after a storm brought heavy snowfall to portions of the Northeast.

snow depth list

Maximum snow depth amounts (in inches) for select Northeast cities.

Quick Stats on Maximum Christmas Snow Depth:

  • Highest max: 50” at Pinkham Notch, NH
  • Lowest max: 4” at Huntington, WV
  • Most years: 9 stations had their highest Christmas snow depth in 1966
  • Longest ago: 1909 was the deepest for Baltimore, MD with 9” of snow on the ground
  • Most recent: 2009 was the deepest snow for Islip, NY, Dulles Ap, VA, Kennedy Ap, NY, and New Brunswick, NJ

For this year’s forecast, be sure to check with the National Weather Service!