White Christmas odds — see below for more info
What are the odds of a white Christmas?
In general, these days, our odds for a white Christmas any given year in Burlington are 33%, so 1 in 3 Christmases will see 1 inch or more of snowfall on the ground — it doesn’t have to actually snow on Christmas Day to be categorized as a white Christmas. In Fort Madison, your chance drops to 28%. In the Quad Cities, odds go up to 37%. Those are our averages based on our current climate cycle – taking a recent 3-decade period of time into consideration. As an example, you may get 3 white Christmases in a row and then have 6 straight years without a white Christmas.
Will our 2017 Christmas be white?
The computer models are consistently suggesting plenty of cold air hanging tough around here for the middle of the month up to about the 20th of December. This pattern suggests the paths of potentially several Alberta Clipper snow events could be right through here. These weather makers dive southeastward out of Canada and bring with them reinforcing shots of cold air along with snow.
Clipper systems typically are fast-moving and moisture-starved weather events, closed off from gaining moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, but they still very commonly can come up with a half-inch to a couple inches worth of snowfall to lay down. The snow tends to be quite dry and powdery due to the extremely cold air in the atmosphere — a-good-broom-could-clear-your-walkways type snow.
So, our weather pattern could easily give us a white Christmas this year — we’re solidly in the running. We’ll see if temperatures stay chilly or warm up coming out of the 20th. Also, the models currently are not suggesting a major winter storm in the nation’s mid section through the next couple weeks. If one were to develop, the exact track of it would have a tremendous impact on what our temperatures and threats for rain and snow would be like by Christmas Day. For now, keep dreaming…