Dream or reality, the chance of a white Christmas in Dayton


DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Snow covered the ground Christmas morning in Dayton five of the last 20 years, that’s 25% of the time.

The National Weather Service defines a white Christmas as at least one inch of snow on the ground Christmas morning.

The last measurable snow depth recorded on Dec. 25 was two inches in 2017.

The most snow was 16″ in 2004.

According to the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio regular snow depth measurements weren’t consistent in Dayton until 1943.

Over 76 years, we have seen 22 with snow on the ground Christmas morning. This puts the historical chance for a white Christmas up to 29%.

La Nina conditions are expected to continue through the winter. La Nina means sea surface temperatures in the equatorial region of the Pacific Ocean are below normal. When this happens Ohio tends to see a lot of temperature swings and above-normal precipitation.

There is a record of the El Nino Southern Oscillation since 1950. Over that time 19 years came with snow. 21% were during a La Nina December. 20% came during an El Nino year, and 52% fell when ENSO was neutral.

Historically there is just a 21% chance of a white Christmas during a La Nina winter.

The latest look from the Climate Prediction Center gives the Miami Valley an equal chance for above or below normal precip. There is a greater chance of above-normal temperatures. This is not the outlook you want to see if you are hoping for snow.

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