Rochester’s chance for a white Christmas is fading as a warm stretch nears

Weather Blog

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A white Christmas is defined as one inch or more on the ground, which is seemingly an easy goal for Rochester.

December averages almost two feet of snow (22.3″) and has recorded a record 18″ on December 25, 1978. Despite these numbers, Rochester’s chances for a white Christmas are slightly better than a coin flip at 56 percent.

The last two years have not hit that criteria (2019 & 2020) and that trend may continue this year. The forecast temperature outlook through December 20 is warmer than average and a lack of major storms will prevent from any snow accumulating as we head toward the holiday.

If we consider there to be no snow on the ground on the 20th, then it will require a new storm sometime within 72 hours of Christmas to provide an inch or more to meet that criteria. This could be in the form of a nor’easter, a clipper system, or potentially some lake-effect snow.

Without snow on the ground heading into this period, the chances are lowered for accumulating snow on the 25th. If this warm pattern continues through the end of the month, it might take a Christmas miracle to get accumulating snow for the big day.

BEING HOPEFUL: This forecast is too far out for specific storms and dramatic changes can happen over the next few weeks. All it takes is a blast of cold air and a quick moving cyclone to pass overhead and bring a quick inch or two. Is that too much to ask?

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