Could the Tri-State see a white Christmas this year?

Posted at 11:03 AM, Dec 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-20 09:22:49-05

Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

The official definition of a white Christmas is one inch of snow on the ground on Dec. 25. The snow doesn’t have to fall on Christmas, it just has to be on the ground on Christmas Day.

Your 9 First Warning Weather Team is tracking the main ingredients that could make this Christmas white for some neighborhoods. An arctic air mass is on the way. That’s the cold air needed. It arrives late Saturday into Sunday. The second main ingredient is moisture. We’re tracking that, too. However, the moisture will make it to the Tri-State first, in the form of plain old rain, on Friday. It will be ahead of the cold air.

RELATED: Get the latest forecast here.

The best snow machine takes place when the two main ingredients accompany one another, but a little snow can fall even when there is a slight separation of these two weather dynamics.

As of today, Wednesday, the chance has decreased to around 30 percent with the window narrowing to the late Sunday evening and overnight hours. How much? Nothing measurable. Mainly flurries to a spotty dusting is possible across the area.

I know, according to the definition above for a white Christmas, that doesn’t cut it.

Still, I think most people seeing any snow on Christmas Day would consider that a little magical.

In our atmosphere, moisture can linger over an area long after the system that produces it is gone. All it needs is a little activation. That can be as simple as a minor disturbance passing by or nearby.

This is the scenario we’re looking at that could produce a white Christmas for some here in the Tri-State. Getting that inch of snow though could be challenging because the moisture will be limited. Remember, the moisture arrives with a cold front set to move through late Friday into early Saturday. The exact track of that rain producing system is still not ironed out in forecast models and neither is the potential for available moisture needed to crank out snow. 

We’ll keep you updated as more forecast model data comes in. So check back for updates as we track the potential for a little Christmas snow here in the Tri-State.

Perhaps you won’t have to dream about it much longer.

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