Wednesday, December 10, 2014

White Christmas? Try these 5 major U.S. cities

AccuWeather is predicting the five major U.S. cities most likely to see a white Christmas, based on 30 years of NOAA weather data.

1. Minneapolis (77 percent chance)
2. Denver (50 percent chance)
3. (tie) Milwaukee (47 percent chance)
3. (tie) Detroit (47 percent chance)
3. (tie) Buffalo (47 percent chance)

The northernmost states in the Lower 48 are most likely to get a Christmas snowfall, from eastern Montana to the Great Lakes to upstate New York and the northern half of New England.

One factor is the proximity to water -- the "lake effect" that provides the moist air necessary for substantial snowfall when the air temperature drops to freezing or below freezing.

Another factor ground temperature: If the ground is frozen -- 32 degrees or colder -- fallen snow won't melt as readily.

The photo at the top of this post? A Milwaukeean stands on a picnic table at the Lake Michigan lakefront to get a better view of winter waves crashing toward the beach. The photo was taken in early December 2011, in advance of a snow storm.