Newswise — Jessica Spaccio, a climatologist with the NOAA-funded Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University, crunched numbers from the past 50 years of weather observations - from 1963 through 2012 - to calculate the best places for snow on the ground come Christmas and a dry drive to those New Year's Eve parties. From Alaska to Amarillo to Atlantic City, here's how she sees it.
“If you're dreaming of a white Christmas, Pinkham Notch, N.H., has a 93 percent probability of fulfilling your dreams. Another high probability is Caribou, Maine, at 90 percent. If you'd rather not deal with the snow, stick closer to the coast: Lewes, Del. (5 percent), Salisbury, Md. (7 percent), Philadelphia, Pa. (8 percent), Washington, D.C. (8 percent), Atlantic City, N.J. (9 percent), Dover, Del. (9 percent).
“Looking outside the Northeast, Alaska is the clear choice for snow - Fairbanks has a 100 percent probability. Alternatively, a few cities have 0 percent probability: Augusta, Ga., Las Vegas, and Columbia, S.C.
“If you're planning to hit the streets in New York City on New Year's Eve, there's a 50 percent probability of precipitation. Not as bad as Buffalo, N.Y. with 66 percent probability. If you're looking to stay dry, weather speaking only, Las Vegas is the place to be, with only 2 percent probability for precipitation.
“These statistics are based on the previous 50 years of historical data. They provide a best estimate without looking at current conditions and forecast models. The U.S. has already seen some snow this year, so some cities are already white. It's also been an active period for storms, so even if the probabilities are low for your city - don't give up hope - Mother Nature always surprises us.”
Media Note: Lists of the probability of Christmas snow and New Year's Eve precipitation for select U.S. cities are below. That same data, plus graphics and the latest NOAA snow cover map can be downloaded from: https://cornell.box.com/WhiteChristmas2013
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Snow on the ground for Christmas Day - Select U.S. cities
City Percent probability of 1" or more of snow on the ground on Dec. 25Albuquerque, NM 2Amarillo, TX 12Atlantic City, NJ 9Augusta, GA 0Baltimore, MD 10Boise, ID 26Boston, MA 19Boulder, CO 44Burlington, VT 68Casper, WY 47Charleston, WV 23Chicago, IL 42Cleveland, OH 46Columbia, SC 0Concord, NH 69Des Moines, IA 44Detroit, MI 69Dover, DE 9Duluth, MN 96Eugene, OR 5Fairbanks, AK 100Flagstaff, AZ 60Grand Forks, ND 85Hartford, CT 47Helena, MT 61Huntsville, AL 2Indianapolis, IN 28Las Vegas, NV 0Little Rock, AR 4Louisville, KY 14Madison, WS 70Memphis, TN 6New York, NY 10Oklahoma City, OK 6Omaha, NE 34Philadelphia, PA 8Portland, ME 62Providence, RI 24Raleigh, NC 2Richmond, VA 5Salt Lake City, UT 58Seattle, WA 8Sioux Falls, SD 60St. Louis, MO 26Syracuse, NY 66Topeka, KS 18Washington, D.C. 8
Snow on the ground for Christmas Day - Select Northeast cities
City Probability of 1" or more of snow on the ground on Dec. 25Albany, NY 46Amherst, MA 51Atlantic City, NJ 9Baltimore, MD 10Bangor, ME 77Berlin, NH 87Boston, MA 19Bridgeport, CT 24Buffalo, NY 62Burlington, VT 68Caribou, ME 90Charleston, WV 23Concord, NH 69Dover, DE 9East Wareham, MA 26Elkins, WV 31Erie, PA 56Hartford, CT 47Ithaca, NY 59Lewes, DE 5New Brunswick, NJ 18New York, NY 10Newark, NJ 16Philadelphia, PA 8Pinkham Notch, NH 93Pittsburgh, PA 30Portland, ME 62Providence, RI 24Rochester, NY 56Rutland, VT 72Salisbury, MD 7State College, PA 33Stroudsburg, PA 36Syracuse, NY 66Washington, D.C. 8Watertown, NY 69
Precipitation on New Year's Eve - Select U.S. cities
City Probability of measurable precipitation on Dec. 31
Albuquerque, NM 10Amarillo, TX 12Atlantic City, NJ 42Baltimore, MD 42Boston, MA 44Boulder, CO 20Burlington, VT 44Casper, WY 32Charleston, WV 52Chicago, IL 30Cleveland, OH 52Concord, NH 40Des Moines, IA 22Dover, DE 31Duluth, MN 46Eugene, OR 54Fairbanks, AK 38Flagstaff, AZ 12Hartford, CT 46Helena, MT 26Huntsville, AL 50Knoxville, TN 54Las Vegas, NV 2Los Angeles, CA 14Madison, WS 22Marquette, MI 50Miami, FL 18Morehead City, NC 22New Orleans, LA 50New York, NY 50Oklahoma City, OK 24Omaha, NE 18Philadelphia, PA 42Portland, ME 42Providence, RI 46Richmond, VA 48Salt Lake City, UT 34Seattle, WA 52Sioux Falls, SD 12St. Louis, MO 40Topeka, KS 26Washington, D.C. 44
Precipitation on New Year's Eve - Select Northeast cities
City Probability of measurable precipitation on Dec. 31Albany, NY 50Amherst, MA 28Bangor, ME 34Berlin, NH 33Boston, MA 44Bridgeport, CT 46Buffalo, NY 66Burlington, VT 44Caribou, ME 46Concord, NH 40East Wareham, MA 34Hartford, CT 46Ithaca, NY 33New York, NY 50Pittsburgh, PA 54Portland, ME 42Providence, RI 46Rochester, NY 56Rutland, VT 45State College, PA 45Syracuse, NY 57Watertown, NY 56Philadelphia, PA 42Erie, PA 60Stroudsburg, PA 42New Brunswick, NJ 30Atlantic City, NJ 42Newark, NJ 44Elkins, WV 56Charleston, WV 52Baltimore, MD 42Salisbury, MD 50Dover, DE 31Lewes, DE 43Washington, D.C. 44
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