White Christmas for the Ozarks? Here’s why the chances are higher this year

On an average year, the chance is typically around 11%
Published: Dec. 13, 2022 at 7:14 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - You’ve heard or seen it in countless books, songs, and movies: a magical, snowy, white Christmas.

Many of us dream of the picturesque blanket of snow after Santa’s visit. Some of us do not. Either way, it’s rare for the Ozarks.

“I did the math one time, and it’s like 11 percent probability of a white Christmas.,” KY3 meteorologist Brandon Beck said.

Since records began in the late 1800s, Springfield has about a one in ten chance at a white Christmas.

2000, 2002, and 2009 were the most recent white Christmases. This year’s seasonal outlook hints at higher chances.

A much colder airmass is moving in for the extended term with subfreezing temperatures for the Ozarks. That means precipitation during this time frame could turn to snow and stick if the ground is cold enough.

Beck thinks the chances for a white Christmas are greater than 50% given the pattern setting up, but there are many factors to consider.

“A lot of times, the colder the air is, the drier it is. Obviously, you’ve got to have moisture for snow. So it’s a matter of exactly where that main boundary sets up. If it’s too far south, it can get really cold, but we’ll stay dry. So it has to be in just the right position so that you’re cold enough for snow but not too dry for it,” explained Brandon.

Long-range model data shows anything from 0″ to 15″ of snow through the next 14 days, which tells us more time needs to pass before anything is solidified. It’s far too early to know any exact details on Christmas snowfall, but there’s high confidence it will be cold enough to support snow. Our team recommends checking back next week as we learn more about approaching storm systems.

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