Saturday Weather Blog: How many Christmases are ‘White’

My5: Christmas Day snow in Tupelo, Mississippi
My5: Christmas Day snow in Tupelo, Mississippi
Published: Nov. 27, 2021 at 8:26 PM MST
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — It may still only be November, but the Christmas season is in full swing. This begs the question: since we started keeping track, how many Christmases are white Christmases in Southern Idaho?

First of all, we have to define what a white Christmas is. According to the National Weather Service, at least one inch of snow needs to be on the ground for a Christmas to be considered a white Christmas.

So where do we stand here in Southern Idaho?

Percentages of White Christmases
Percentages of White Christmases(NOAA)

According to the Climate Prediction Center, it really depends on where you live. Up in the Wood River Valley and in the South Hills, over 75% of past Christmases have seen enough snow.

In the Snake River Plain, it varies. Over in the Mini-Cassia region, about 40 to 60% of our Christmases have seen enough snow.

Western areas of the Magic Valley have seen the lowest amount - anywhere between 10-50% of Christmases have seen enough snow.

Do these stats have anything to do with what we’ll see this year? Not necessarily.

While this may give a good idea of what our chances are with respect to an average year, this year has been anything but average as many of you know. With that said, there are some signals pointing in the right direction.

Confidence is growing that a period of cold temperatures will make their way into the region for mid-December.

For this cold shot to allow us to see a white Christmas, two things need to happen: the cold needs to last through Christmas, and there needs to be precipitation associated with the cold shot.

It’s unfortunately a bit too soon to tell whether this will happen or not.

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