This Might Be The Year!

As Bing Crosby sings, “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas”, are you doing the same?  North Sound White Christmas’s are rather rare. The last one was in 2008 and it was a doozy. Some North Sound locations had between one and two feet of snow on the ground on Christmas, plus it snowed that morning, giving the day a special festive feeling.

Looking back through over 100 years of weather records, the odds of having a White Christmas in the North Sound is only about 5 percent or a one in 20 chance. If you want a near 100 percent chance of snow on the ground for the holiday, head to the Cascades. The odds there are solid for a White Christmas.

Nationally, here is what the historical probability of a White Christmas with at least one inch of snow on the ground looks like.


A closer look at this map zoomed in to Washington shows the odds of a White Christmas from the mountains to the lowlands.

La Nina is in place for this winter season. La Nina is when sea surface temperatures in the Eastern Pacific equatorial waters west of Peru, are cooler than average. This phenomenon adjusts global weather patterns including the North Pacific storm track spending more time at our latitude, bringing our region more storms than usual.

La Nina usually brings our region cooler than average temperatures and wetter than normal precipitation. The latest seasonal outlook from the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center clearly shows these La Nina tendencies with below average temperatures and above normal precipitation expected for December well into March.

La Nina is by far number one for lowland snow, ranking well ahead of Neutral (near average tropical Eastern Pacific sea surface temperatures) or El Nino (warmer than average sea surface temperatures) conditions. The 2008 White Christmas was a La Nina winter season.

If you are dreaming of a White Christmas this year, the odds are better, perhaps doubling the history of a one in 20 chance to one in 10.

Monitor the new weather page for your local North Sound community forecast as we get closer to Christmas. Perhaps your dreams for a White Christmas will come true!