- In the Upper Midwest, where a blizzard hit some areas on Wednesday, a white Christmas is guaranteed.
- In the Northeast, the rain and mild temperatures on Christmas Eve could melt a large portion of the snow that fell during last week’s storm.
- The weather service defines a white Christmas as having 1 inch of snow on the ground on the morning of Dec. 25.
After a mild, soggy Christmas Eve across a large portion of the eastern U.S., much colder weather is in store for Christmas Day.
As the cold air rushes in later today and overnight, it will be accompanied by snow in a few areas, delivering a white Christmas morning for some folks.
Snow should be heaviest around the eastern Great Lakes and into portions of the Ohio Valley and the central Appalachians, where 4 to 8 inches is likely, the National Weather Service said.
Snow is even expected as far south as northern Georgia. Atlanta could see a few flurries on Christmas Day, but no accumulation is forecast.
In the Upper Midwest, where a blizzard hit some areas on Wednesday, a white Christmas is guaranteed thanks to the bitter cold temperatures there. This includes the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, which picked up over 8 inches of snow Wednesday.
In the Northeast and New England, the rain and mild temperatures on Christmas Eve could melt a large portion of the snow that fell during last week’s storm.
Elsewhere, snow will be on the ground Christmas morning across the higher elevations of the western U.S., as is usual for this time of year.
The weather service defines a white Christmas as having 1 inch of snow on the ground on the morning of Dec. 25. It need not snow on Dec. 25 to fit the weather service’s definition of a white Christmas, but some flurries would certainly help put folks in the holiday spirit.
Americans’ fascination with a white Christmas dates back at least to 1942, when Bing Crosby first crooned the wistful song in the film “Holiday Inn.” Written by Irving Berlin, the song’s lyrics bring out a romanticized image of Christmases past, “just like the ones I used to know.”
Whether it snows or not, Christmas Day will be bone-chillingly cold across nearly the entire eastern third of the nation. “The Arctic air and brutal winds will make it feel like the dead of winter – and the combination of snow and a dramatic freeze-up will have some locations feeling like the North Pole,” said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
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The one exception to the Christmas chill will be in New England, which will be unusually mild and damp. Temperatures in portions of Maine could top out in the mid-50s on Christmas Day, which will be warmer than in parts of Florida, the weather service said.
The weather service earlier this week warned that South Florida could experience the coldest Christmas Day in 21 years. The area could see temperatures dip into the 30s by Saturday morning, potentially causing cold-stunned iguanas to fall out of trees, the weather service said.
Fortunately, according to AccuWeather, the shocking cold air is forecast to wane by the end of the weekend, allowing for temperatures to climb back near normal across the Midwest and Southeast.