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Are white Christmases a thing of the past in central Ohio?

Central Ohio has warmed over 6 degrees around the Christmas holiday.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A “white Christmas” is defined as having an inch or more of snow on the ground by Christmas morning. This year, snow will be hard to come by anywhere in the country. According to NOAA, Ohio has around a 20% chance of seeing snow by Christmas morning. We saw a “white Christmas” last year in Columbus, but since then we have only had snow 5 times since 2000.

Climate Central has found that the days surrounding Christmas have warmed over 6 degrees in the past 50 years. With a warmer climate, it’s possible that more winter precipitation will fall as rain rather than snow.

Credit: (Image Source: Climate Central)

Dr. Elizabeth A. Burakowski, a research assistant professor with the Earth Systems Research Center & Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space at the University of New Hampshire, has been studying winter warmth and its impact on winter sports.

Dr. Burakowski says, “It’s not just warmer temperatures but fewer days with snow on the ground and the snow that does fall tends to be denser, wetter snow.” The warmer winters and lack of snowfall impacts businesses like ski resorts that rely on the colder temperatures.

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