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Which cities have the best chance of seeing a white Christmas?

Winter Weather
Posted at 9:19 AM, Dec 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-07 14:53:57-05

Many people say they’re dreaming of a white Christmas, but most locales in the U.S. will likely not have snow on Dec. 25.

According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, most major U.S. cities’ chances of seeing a white Christmas are well below 50%. NOAA considers a Christmas to be white if there is at least one inch of snow on the ground.

In major U.S. cities like New York and Philadelphia, the chances stand around 10%. Going up to Boston improves the chances to about 32%.

Major Midwest cities, like Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland, have about a 40% chance of a white Christmas.

U.S. cities with the best chances of a white Christmas (100 largest by population):

  1. St. Paul, Minnesota 76%
  2. Minneapolis 74%
  3. Madison, Wisconsin 65%
  4. Spokane, Washington 60%
  5. Buffalo 55%
  6. Milwaukee 47%
  7. Cleveland 43%
  8. Chicago 41%
  9. Denver 40%
  10. Toledo, Ohio 38%

Are you looking for a nearly guaranteed shot of having a white Christmas in the continental United States? Crested Butte, Colorado, has a 99% chance of a white Christmas, according to NOAA. The city is high up in the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of 8,800 feet.

Whether 2022 ends up being snowy will be determined. According to NOAA, the northwestern United States is expected to be colder and wetter than most Decembers.

To see if your town has a shot at a white Christmas, click here.