White Christmas Finally!

It's been 7 and in some areas 8 years in coming, but Tony says the White Christmas jinx is finally over.

The Dream Comes True

Wet snow is in the forecast early Christmas morning. By the time it tapers off to flurries mid morning, a general one to three inches will be on the ground area-wide. This new snow will cover up bare spots left behind from the old snow while freshly coating the sledding slopes on the kid’s favorite hills.

As for travel conditions, since temperatures have been near 30 all day long on Friday, and will only drop into the mid and upper 20s during the snow, I expect roads to start slick and snow covered at dawn, but to improve markedly by mid morning thru afternoon.

Specifically, light snow should arrive just after the last chorus of Hark the Herald Angels Sing at midnight church services and during Santa’s trip in from the North Pole. The snow should last until an hour or 2 after sunrise. Under the cover of darkness and in the early morning snowy glow, roads will be snow covered and slippery.

As the snow slackens to flurries, solar energy will penetrate the clouds and team with near freezing temperatures to make many roads wet and slushy, and more easily travelable. So my recommendation is to put off any un-necessary travel on Christmas morning until say 10 or 11. That will give road crews ample time to salt and Ol Sol a chance to go to work invisibly penetrating the clouds.

The lull in snow will end by Christmas night as new snows work in from the north. These drier snows will recoat the ground and make for a new round of slick travel. I suspect a fresh one to three inches will grace our presence by Sunday afternoon.

So when all is said and done, the White Christmas of 2010 will have something old, something new as we break the Christmas snow drought of the still young 21st century!

Merry Christmas


The first decade of the 21st century has set an annoying trend for White Christmas fans. You see the first nine years of the new millennium have gone by with only one or two December 25ths featuring snow on the ground.

In Charleston and the Kanawha Valley, your last White Christmas dates back to 2002 when a morning coating melted by mid day only to be refreshed by an new evening blanket of snow. Since then nada!

Meanwhile the Huntington-River Cities, Southern Ohio, Northern Kentucky region enjoyed a quick 1 to 2 inch snowfall in 2003 on Christmas morning. That made 2 straight years with snow on the ground on Christmas day. Here’s how I highlighted that last White Christmas in my blog that year.

“Christmas morn dawned partly sunny as the kids raced downstairs to open the cargo Santa had hauled from the North Pole. By 8 AM as mom and dad were saluting the morning with a glass of egg nog and the French toast was dripping off the skillet, snow squalls arrived on a passing arctic front. By 10AM 1”-2” of snow had fallen from Huntington south into Lincoln County and for much of Southern West Virginia. Charleston too had the ground whitened. Who says they don’t believe in miracles?

But since then nada!

Still from a statistician’s viewpoint, the current snow drought for Christmas days is not that unusual as long as it is offset by a string of future White Christmas Days. Remember one year or even a decade makes little difference for a 100 year trend.

But unless you have been listening to your favorite radio station and Bing Crosby’s White Christmas ballad, your dream has not been answered for 6 or 7 years.

That trend may be corrected this year as an intense winter pattern of cold and snow is setting up for much of eastern North America this year. Given the expectations that we will have frequent snow showers beginning this weekend thru early next week, it is a slam dunk we will have the ground whitened. But a coating of snow on Saturday or Sunday hardly assures snow on the ground for Christmas day.

Of course to assure a white covering on Christmas day, the best way is to have it snow on Christmas eve or even the big day itself. Early signs suggest that is possible.

But as for the Christmas song of all time, Crosby’s White Christmas is legendary. Written in 1942 by Irving Berlin, the song was immortalized by Da Binger in the movie Holiday Inn back in 1954. With a star studded cast including Rosemary Clooney (my mom’s favorite) and Danny Kaye, the movie version is sure to show up on cable this holiday season. I have been fortunate to have experienced a dozen or so White Christmas’ in my lifetime and must admit I yearn for another badly!

Other Christmassy signs locally include the glistening aura of the Winter Wonderland of lights in Ashland and the Fantasy of Lights display at Krodell Park in Point Pleasant. The Christmas in the Park at Chief Logan spotlights a spectacular 3 mile drive thru the park. Coonskin Park in Charleston and City Park in St. Albans offer dazzling light displays also.

I will keep you posted with our updated chances of a White Christmas as well as some new Christmas tidbits in the days ahead.

Until then, Think Snow!
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