After early December's raging round of snow flurries (.3" at KCLE), the seasonal snowfall total at Cleveland Hopkins Airport currently sits at 1.2 inches. That's about 20 inches LESS than this time last year.
Cold air is having trouble sticking and staying across our area. Not unusual for winters impacted by a STRONG El Nino in the Tropical Pacific Ocean.
So, now our attention shifts to the Christmas holiday, roughly ten days away. Even the biggest snow haters don't mild a cosmetic coating of the white stuff to spruce up the Yule Log.
So, what are the odds of a SNOW WHITE Christmas this year? First we look at the odds during a normal winter season. On average, we've had snowfall or snow on the ground for 30 percent of Christmases here in the Greater Cleveland/Akron areas in the last 100 years. That's roughly one out of every three years.
There have been five STRONG El Ninos, similar to the we are experiencing now, since 1950 (1997-98, 1982-83, 1972-73, 1965-66, & 1957-58). December temperatures during all of those STRONG El Ninos finished ABOVE NORMAL for Northern Ohio. That would tend to lower that 33 percent number even further. In fact, none of those Christmas Days during those five strong El Nino years had any measurable snow on the ground. A few flakes fell on Christmas Day in 1997 and 1965.
There is always hope. We could get a quick cold air outbreak and some snow this Christmas. That's always on the table in any year. But, based on statistics, the odds are even more against us.
I'm thinking the odds of a White Christmas this year are about 10 percent. If you want snow around December 25th, I recommend you add it to your Christmas List and maybe Santa will oblige. And, of course, be good for goodness sake!
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