• Will Pittsburgh see a white Christmas this year?

    By: Danielle Dozier

    Updated:

    How many of you love to see snow on Christmas Day? A “white Christmas” is defined as there being at least 1 inch of snow on the ground on Dec. 25. Historically, Pittsburgh’s chance of seeing an inch of snow during the holiday is 32 percent, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information. This is based on climate records dating from 1981-2010.

    The map below shows areas in gray have a lower probability of seeing a white Christmas, while bright blue areas represent higher chances. NCEI finds that Washington, Pennsylvania, has a 29 percent chance of seeing 1 inch of snow on the ground on Christmas Day, while Butler, Pennsylvania, has a 39 percent chance. 

    The ridges of Westmoreland and Fayette Counties have a 50 to 60 percent chance. Higher elevations typically see more snow during snow storms because of the colder air aloft. Moist air is also forced to rise, which can lead to clouds and heavy precipitation on the windward side of mountains.
    Nationally, the mountains out in the west, and cities closest to the Great Lakes and parts of New England favor a white Christmas.

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