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Dreaming of a White Christmas? Here are our odds.

Historically, Omaha has a 33% probability of a White Christmas
Historically, Omaha has a 33% probability of a White Christmas(wowt)
Published: Dec. 8, 2020 at 2:51 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - With just over two weeks until Christmas, the questions on the holiday forecast have started to roll in to the weather center. Even those who aren’t big fans of the winter season may find themselves wishing for snow on Christmas Day.

What kind of weather can we expect on a “normal” Christmas Day?

A 30-year average of weather in Omaha shows a normal high of 33° and a normal low of 15° on Christmas Day. The warmest Christmas on record (dating back to 1871) in Omaha reached 57°. On Christmas Day in 1983, Omaha dropped down to -17° with more than a foot of snow on the ground.

Climatology of Christmas in Omaha
Climatology of Christmas in Omaha(wowt)

What qualifies as a “White Christmas”?

By definition, a “White Christmas” means there is at least one inch of snow on the ground on December 25th. So technically, it doesn’t have to snow ON Christmas Day to count.

Historically, Omaha has a 33% probability of a White Christmas (42 out of 126 years of snow records have had at least one inch of snow on the ground).

How is this year looking?

It’s no secret the past month or so has been very mild in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa. November wrapped up with 20 days of above-average high temperatures in Omaha. We’ve had only one high in the 30s so far in December, as of the 8th.

In terms of snowfall, Omaha Eppley Airfield has picked up 1.8 inches of snow so far this season. At this point in December, we’re about 4 inches below normal for season-to-date snowfall. Overall, moisture has been very limited this year. Just take a look at snow depth over the Lower-48 as of December 8th! Very dry in the Midwest.

Snow depth as of Tuesday, December 8th
Snow depth as of Tuesday, December 8th(wowt)

While Christmas Day isn’t included in our 10-day forecast just yet, the 8 to 14 Day Outlooks from the Climate Predictions Center take us through the 21st. Temperatures are trending warmer-than-average, with precipitation trending drier-than-average during this time period. For the days leading up to Christmas, that is not a good combination if you’re wanting snow on the ground.

Trending warmer-than-average leading up to Christmas
Trending warmer-than-average leading up to Christmas(wowt)
Trending drier-than-average leading up to Christmas
Trending drier-than-average leading up to Christmas(wowt)

We’ll of course keep you updated on the forecast as we get closer to the holiday. You can keep an eye on it as well by downloading the WOWT First Alert Weather App: https://www.wowt.com/page/get-the-first-alert-weather-app/

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