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Are you dreaming of a white Christmas, Denver? Here’s the bad news

Colorado Weather
Posted at 12:40 PM, Dec 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-07 14:40:44-05

DENVER — Waking up on Christmas morning to a fresh powder of snow is the hope for many in Denver. But sadly, those hopes are dashed more often than not when sunny and clear skies greet us on December 25 in the Mile High City.

The historical probability of a white Christmas in Denver — which is defined as having at least one inch of snow on the ground on December 25 — is only 40%, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information.

NOAA has a map showing the probability of a white Christmas in the contiguous United States. The map is based on 1991–2020 climate normals, according to the agency. While Denver sits at 40%, the chances are higher in other parts of the state.

In Colorado Springs, the chance increases to 77%. And Boulder has a slightly higher chance of seeing a white Christmas compared to Denver with a 47% chance.

Where does history say you should be in Colorado to almost certainly experience a white Christmas? That would be in Crested Butte in Gunnison County, which boasts a nearly 100% historical probability of seeing a white Christmas, according to NOAA.

Here are the U.S. cities with the best chances of a white Christmas (100 largest by population):

  1. St. Paul, Minnesota 76%
  2. Minneapolis 74%
  3. Madison, Wisconsin 65%
  4. Spokane, Washington 60%
  5. Buffalo 55%
  6. Milwaukee 47%
  7. Cleveland 43%
  8. Chicago 41%
  9. Denver 40%
  10. Toledo, Ohio 38%