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Probability of a White Christmas

Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? If so, historically there is a decent shot of having one in eastern Iowa.

Technically, it can only be considered a true white Christmas if there is at least one inch of snow on the ground Christmas morning. It doesn't actually have to snow on December 25th.

According to NOAA, the historic probability based on data from 1981-2010 shows a 41% to 75% chance of a white Christmas (south to north) each year across eastern Iowa.

We went back even farther in the record books.

Since 1895, Waterloo has had at least 1" of snow on the ground on Christmas 73 times. (Approximately 58%)

In that same time frame, Dubuque has had snow on the ground 67 times. (Approximately 54%)

Data for Cedar Rapids and Iowa City is a little more difficult to follow, but here is what we have found.

Since 1906, Cedar Rapids has had 1" snow on the ground on December 37 times. (Approximately 32% -- a little lower than the 20 year data above)

In Iowa City, a white Christmas has happened 48 times since 1905. (Approximately 42%)

Stay tuned to the Storm Track 7 forecast as we get closer and closer to the big day to find out if we can add this year to the list!

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Kyle Kiel


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