The stats behind a “White Christmas”


CLARKSBURG, W.Va – Cities and towns all across West Virginia woke up to their first “White Christmas” in up to 10 years, thanks to overnight snow that moved through the region.

The official definition of a “White Christmas” is that there is at least one inch of snow on the ground at 7 am Christmas morning…don’t ask me why, that’s just what the national weather service has deemed their official ruling on a “White Christmas.”

Snow in Point Mountain, Webster County. Courtesy: Debbie Knight

We may need to check with Santa on that one…but as many locations woke up to the first snowy Christmas in a decade. Let’s take a look at the historical probability of an official white Christmas. Looking at the nation as a whole, many areas south of West Virginia have less than a 10 percent chance. As we take a closer look at the state of West Virginia, much of the state to the north and east of Charleston has between a 25-40 percent chance of seeing a “White Christmas.” As you may suspect, Snowshoe Mountain has the highest odds at 62 percent, while Huntington has the lowest odds at around 6 percent.

When was the last time this many areas saw a “White Christmas?” We have to go back 10 years to 2010 to see so many areas experiencing a “White Christmas” like we are seeing this year.
9 of 10 offical climate sites in the state had over an inch of snow on the ground on Christmas in 2010.

This year – we are experiencing the cold and snow for many, but last Christmas was a completely different story. 8 of 10 climate sites across the state experienced a top 10 warmest Christmas on record. Highs were in the 50s and 60s for most and there wasn’t a hint of snow on the ground for most of us.

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