White Christmas chances to remain a dream for most of country

Continued warmth will impact much of the southern half of the country.

Millions of people will not be able to fulfill the dream of building a snowman in a meadow or taking a walk in a winter wonderland thanks to a continued warm weather pattern that will keep ingredients for snow at bay.

Exceptions will exist in the Rockies, Upper Midwest and New England, where temperatures should remain cold enough to keep some of the frozen precipitation on the ground through Saturday.

Forecast models show no significant winter storms traversing the country during the Christmas week, which means areas that don't already have snow on the ground could be out of luck for seeing a winter wonderland. 

In order for an area to see a white Christmas, there must either be at least one inch of snow on the ground or measurable snow falling from the sky.

Forecast models show less than a third of the country will see the probability of seeing snow on the ground for Christmas Day.


And while the lack of snow cover may be disappointing for some, the holiday will join recent years when snow was hard to come by for many.

The last time a large chunk of the country saw a white Christmas was back in 2017 when an estimated 49% of the landmass that makes up the lower 48 had snow on the ground.

The year was an anomaly and usually only around a quarter of the country ends up seeing what qualifies as a white Christmas.

Meteorologists say the lack snow across many parts of the U.S. is not surprising, considering more than 3,600 record high temperatures were reported during the first half of December.

The warm month fits into the forecast released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted in September that called for a warmer than average winter.

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center believes the La Niña weather pattern will favor continued waves of warmth through the 2021-2022 winter season.