What Are The Chances Of A White Christmas

So, what are the chances of a white Christmas on any given year in Middle Tennessee?

According to the National Weather Service, since the winter of 1884 and 1885, when snowfall records began in Nashville, snow has fallen 24 times on Christmas Day. Only 10 have been a measurable amount. A measurable amount is one tenth of an inch or more.

From a statistical standpoint, there is a 19 percent chance of a trace or more of snow on Christmas Day, but only an 8 percent chance of measurable snow. The last time measurable snow fell on Christmas Day was in 2010, when 1.1 inches occurred. The last time measurable snow fell, prior to 2010, was on Christmas 1993–when 0.3 inches occurred.

That same amount fell on Christmas 1992 in downtown Nashville, with 1 to 2 inches in the Joelton and Ridgetop areas. The years 1992 and 1993 are the only two consecutive Christmases on record with measurable snowfall. The last white Christmas in Nashville was 2010, when 1.1 inches of snow fell. A white Christmas is one or more inches of snowfall.

OK, now that we know the statistics of it, how about this year. Well all the sources we found say that snow will fall the day after Christmas. The main system they are tracking is at the moment (early Monday) sitting off the coast of California, if you can believe that. This “system” will make it’s way across the nation dumping snow along the way.

So we have  two obstacles, the distance the system (along with cooler temperatures)  must travel and our higher current temperatures in Robertson County that will remain through Christmas Day.  There is some moisture in the air and we will probably see rain on Christmas day but to get snow we’ll need that “system” to move a little faster or we need a temperature drop..  So the best guess at the moment is that snow will fall the day after Christmas.


Jim Ball reporting December 24, 2012 (12:49AM)