Chances for a white Christmas in central Ohio are increasing

Published:
Updated:

Christmas is almost here and the prospects for seeing a "white Christmas" are rising.

Technically a "white Christmas" is defined as having at least one inch of snow on the ground on Christmas morning.

Snow depth records kept out at John Glenn Columbus International Airport (where the climate records are kept) indicate we see them 25% of the time but the last "white Christmas" we had here was back in 2010.

Courtesy: WSI
Media Folder: 

Computer forecast models that we use to help us predict the weather are indicating a weather system will move through the region on Sunday afternoon and evening.

This is expected to bring snow showers to the area and light accumulations are possible. The above chart is from the GFS model which is fairly reliable.

That gray and green in Central and Northern Ohio is forecast moisture (which will fall as snow).

Courtesy: WSI
Media Folder: 

The European model (above) is also calling for light snow showers. And by the time this system moves in the ground will be cold enough for some of it to stick.

Courtesy: NOAA
Media Folder: 

The North American Model is another forecast model that meteorologists use to help forecast. This short-range model is fairly reliable and it too is calling for light snow on Sunday.

Courtesy: WSI
Media Folder: 

It may sound like I'm getting repetitive but if you're rooting for snow this is a good thing. That's because forecasters look for something known as consensus in the models when they make a forecast.

When multiple forecast models are coming to the same solution this gives meteorologists confidence in the overall forecast. As you can see the models are coming into a consensus that we'll see some snow on Sunday.

Courtesy: Iowa State
Media Folder: 

So the big question is, "How much will we get?" The above weather chart is showing forecasts of anywhere of a dusting to a little more than an inch in Central Ohio.

The center of that range is denoted by the line with the little square boxes and the the line with the circles. They're both hinting at right around, if not just under, an inch. This is why I'm thinking we'll wake up with a coating of snow on the ground on Christmas morning with the best chances for the inch needed to call it a "white Christmas" north of Columbus.

I think we have about a 40% chance for a "white Christmas" here in Columbus but as you move north of Columbus the odds will increase.
Merry Christmas!

Media Folder: