- White Christmas
A white Christmas, to most people in the
Northern Hemisphere, refers to snowy weather on Christmas Day. This phenomenon is far more common in some countries than in others. For example, in the United Kingdom, snow is seldom experienced at Christmas except in the Mid or northern parts and the mountains; but most parts of Canadaexcept for the British Columbiacoast and southern interior valleys, southern Alberta, southern Ontarioand parts of the Maritimes stand an excellent chance of experiencing a white Christmas. The same goes for the countries in northern Europe, such as ones in Scandinavia, the Baltic States, northern Russia, Belarus. Due to oceanic climate and such, the further west a country is in Europe, the lower the probability that it will have a white Christmas ("e.g.", in southern France it is very rare, while in Bucharest, Romania, which is at a similar latitude, a white Christmas is much more likely). Northern Italyand the mountain regions of central-south Italymay also have a White Christmas: in cities like Turin, Milan or Bologna a Christmas with falling snow or snow on the ground is not a rarity. Trento, in example, has experienced 4 White Christmas since 1993 (1993, 1999, 2000, 2005, some freezing sleet in 2004);The city also received nearly 50 cm of snow on Christmas 1981 and a couple of cm on December 25th, 1985.
United Kingdom, white Christmases were more common in the 18th and 19th centuries. In modern times a Christmas is officially considered "white", especially by bookmakers, if a single snow flake is observed falling in the 24 hours of 25th December, [ [http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/whitechristmas/index.html] ] meaning it can officially be declared a "White Christmas" with no perceivable quantity of snow. This is in contrast to other countries which usually require a specified quantity of settled snow. The last widespread white christmas was the christmas of 2004.
The prospect of early winter snow, never mind a white Christmas, in
Irelandis always remote due to the country's warm and wet climate. Bookmakers offer odds every year for a "white Christmas", which is ("officially") snow being recorded at 09:00 local time on Christmas Day, and recorded at either Dublin Airport, Belfast International Airportor Cork Airport(bets are offered for each airport). Snow is most common in the north, and as such Belfast usually has better odds than Dublin, and considerably better odds than Cork, which is at the extreme south of the country. Ireland's last "official" white Christmas was in 2004. [ [http://breakingnews.iol.ie/news/?c=ireland&jp=cwidsnqleykf] ]
Some of the least-likely white Christmases that have happened include the
2004 Christmas Eve Snowstorm, which brought the first white Christmas in 50 years to New Orleansand caused the first ever white Christmas to Houston, Texas. The 2004 storm also brought the first measurable snow of any kind since 1895to Brownsville, Texas, and its twin cityof Matamoros, Mexico. The Florida winter storm of 1989 also occurred immediately before Christmas. The same storm buried Wilmington, North Carolinaand the rest of Southeastern North Carolina under 15 inches of snow; even small amounts of snowfall are rare in the area.
White Christmases in Canada
The Meteorological Service of Canada compiled a list of the probability of a White Christmas in selected Canadian cities: [ [http://www.msc-smc.ec.gc.ca/media/xmas/prob_e.html] ]
City Probability Vancouver 11% Calgary 59% Edmonton 88% Saskatoon 98% Regina 91% Winnipeg 98% Windsor 41% Toronto 57% Ottawa 83% Montreal 80% Quebec City 100% Halifax 59% St. John's 65% Whitehorse 100% Yellowknife 100% 2006saw some of the warmest weather on record, with such places as Quebec Cityexperiencing their first green Christmas in recorded history. [ [http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2006/12/21/green-christmas.html (CBC)] ]
White Christmases in the United States
According to the National Climatic Data Center, basing numbers upon 1988-2005 data and stations with at least 25 years of data, the probability of a White Christmas (one inch of snow on the ground) at selected cities is as follows: [http://ols.nndc.noaa.gov/plolstore/plsql/olstore.prodspecific?prodnum=C00493-PUB-A0001]
City Probability Anchorage, Alaska 90% Annette Island, Alaska(Alaska Panhandle) 17% Fairbanks, Alaska 100% Phoenix, Arizona 1% Little Rock, Arkansas 3% Los Angeles, California 1% San Francisco, California 1% Denver, Colorado 50% Hartford, Connecticut 57% Wilmington, Delaware 13% Washington, DC 13% Savannah, Georgia 3% Boise, Idaho 30% Chicago, Illinois 40% Indianapolis, Indiana 30% Des Moines, Iowa 50% Topeka, Kansas 23% Louisville, Kentucky 13% Portland, Maine 83% Boston, Massachusetts 23% Detroit, Michigan 50% Marquette, Michigan(Upper Peninsula) 100% Duluth, Minnesota 97% Minneapolis, Minnesota 73% St. Louis, Missouri 23% Helena, Montana 67% Omaha, Nebraska 44% Reno, Nevada 20% Concord, New Hampshire 87% Newark, New Jersey 23% Albuquerque, New Mexico 3% Massena, New York 77% New York, New York 10% Charlotte, North Carolina 1% Fargo, North Dakota 83% Cleveland, Ohio 50% Akron, Ohio 50% Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 3% Portland, Oregon 1% Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 10% Providence, Rhode Island 37% Charleston, South Carolina 3% Rapid City, South Dakota 47% Nashville, Tennessee 13% Amarillo, Texas 7% Dallas, Texas 8% Salt Lake City, Utah 53% Richmond, Virginia 7% Seattle, Washington 8% Spokane, Washington 70% Charleston, West Virginia 30% Milwaukee, Wisconsin 60% Casper, Wyoming 47%
According to research by
CDIACmeteorologist Dale Kaiser, the United States during the second half of the 20th century experienced declining frequencies of White Christmases, especially in the northeastern region. [Dye, Lee. [http://i.abcnews.com/Technology/story?id=99617 Study: White Christmases Have Become Rare.] ABC News. December 18, 2003.]
White Christmases in the United Kingdom
Since 1950, the number of years with a white Christmas in the UK is as follows: [ [http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/library/factsheets/factsheet05.pdf] ]
Location Percentage of years with a white Christmas London 13% Birmingham 14% Aberporth 9% Glasgow 13% Aberdeen 25% Belfast 16% Lerwick 32% Bradford 7% St Mawgan 7%
* [http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/whitechristmas/index.html Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?]
* [http://australianflavour.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=58&Itemid=1 White Christmas Sweet from Australia]
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