White Christmas

It was a white Christmas for Hampton Roads in 1935 as a nor'easter collided with freezing temperatures on Dec. 22, dumping 9 inches of snow, the most since 1927. After the snow stopped, colder temperatures set in and solidified the fallen snow making removal almost impossible. Last minute Christmas shoppers found icy, clogged streets and sidewalks.

A white Christmas around these parts?

Well, it has happened. But it's not going to this time around.

Forecasts from the National Weather Service give our region in a 10 percent of less chance of the white stuff enhancing or ruining — depending on how you look at it —the holidays.

By meteorology standards, the ground must be covered by at least an inch of snow to be declared a white Christmas.

The last time that happened in Hampton Roads was in 1966, when the area woke up to 4 inches of snow.

Statistics are different when talking about it snowing on Christmas, but the standard of 1 inch remains.

Norfolk's biggest Christmas snowfall was in 2010. There was no snow on the ground in the morning, but flakes started falling in the afternoon and a major snowstorm blew through on the 26th. Norfolk received 14.2 inches that day — the third largest one-day snowfall in Norfolk's history, according to the weather service.

So if you really want to build a snowman or make a snow angel, where would you want to be on Christmas Day?

Statistics say that Minneapolis, Minn., would be your best bet, followed by Denver, Milwaukee, Detroit and Buffalo.

Closer to home, the mountains to our west — especially in West Virginia where ski resorts will at least be making snow — are being given the best chance at "possible, but doubtful."

The forecasts for Christmas Eve and Day are calling for clear skies with dry and seasonable conditions. Highs each day should be in the upper 40s to low 50s, with lows in the mid 30s.

Lee Tolliver, 757-222-5844, lee.tolliver@pilotonline.com


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