The criteria that must be met in order for a Christmas to be considered a white one is that there must be at least one inch of snow on the ground on Christmas Day. This official measurement is usually taken around 6 am on December 25th.
While most areas of the lower 48 can only hope for a white Christmas from year to year, residents of northeast MN, the Upper Peninsula of MI, and northern New England are nearly assured of having a white Christmas each year. This year, most of these areas are expected to see a white Christmas, as several snow events along with an abundance of cold air has allowed for the snow to pile up. If you are wondering what area of the country will see the deepest snow this Christmas, look to the Cascade Range in Washington State. A reporting station on the eastern side of Mount Rainier National Park, called Chinook Pass, is reporting a snow depth of 377 inches (or just over 31.4 feet). That is impressive, but it's still several feet short of the record snow depth for North America. That occurred back on March 11th, 1911, in Tamarack, CA. On that day, a whopping 453 inches was measured in this town on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
Closer to sea level, white Christmases can be much harder to come by across the lower 48. To see what your percentage chance of having a white Christmas is, open this map and click on the circle nearest to you.
To view a map of the current snow depth in the lower 48 click here.
To check on your latest local forecast to see if any snow is in your future leading up to Christmas, log on to weatherology!