Weather Blog

0% chance of 5" on Christmas? We beg to differ...

0% chance of 5" on Christmas? We beg to differ...
We had already hit the "snow lottery" of sorts this year with a likely healthy coat of snow on Christmas Day -- the first time more than 1" of snow has been on the ground in Seattle since 1990.

According to the National Climate Data Center, Seattle had just a 7% chance in any given year of having 1" or more of snow on the ground on Christmas Day.

But what about 5"? Their chart says a 0% chance of that.

Now, it remains to be seen whether Sea-Tac Airport will have 5" on Thursday -- it'll be a race between new snow Wednesday morning and an expected change to rain in the afternoon. I guess the odds say no, but my heart says "maybe".  But they should probably at least change that chart to "1%"? :)

We probably can't fault the numbers because snow this deep on Christmas is exceedingly rare. In fact, local climate statistic guru Jason Phelps did some research for me and found this might be the Whitest Christmas since 1861.

Here's his e-mail to me: -----
To find snow this widespread, this deep, and this long lasting you have to go back to the November of 1985 with that BIG white Thanksgiving :)
The following are white Christmases and how much snow Seattle had...
2007 Dusting
1990 1", although Seattle City Office had 4"
1965 4"
1946 Dusting (according to history link website)
1944 0.2"
1937 Dusting (according to history link website)
1933 Dusting (according to history link website)
1924 1" left over snow at Seattle City Office
1916 0.1"
1915 0.4"
1911 Dusting (according to history link website)
1909 1.8"
1892 Dusting
1884 1" (according to a climate of Seattle book--Portland had measurable snow out of this one and that was Portland's last measurable Christmas snow)
1871 6"
1861 12"


(1996 had snow on Dec. 24 but it melted before the 25th. The big snows then restarted on the 26th.)

So get a good look at the snow this Christmas. Could be several years before we see it again :)