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A White Christmas in Lexington

Our chances historically aren't that great.
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Posted at 10:20 PM, Dec 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-22 22:24:36-05

"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas. Just like the one's I used to know." Those song lyrics couldn't be more true for fans of snow living in Kentucky at Christmastime. Historically our chances aren't that great for snow, let alone a white Christmas. I guess we'll have to keep dreaming or move north.

In order to have a "white Christmas," there must be at least an inch of snow on the ground at dawn on Christmas Day. This has occurred 20 times since the late 1800s in Lexington. That gives us about a 16% chance of having a white Christmas. It's a fairly rare occurrence. Chances are only slightly better for eastern Kentucky. The last white Christmas was in 2010. Christmas 1935 was Lexington's snowiest when 6.5" of snow fell and there was a snow depth of 7".

The best odds for a white Christmas reside near the Canadian border, and through the Cascades, the Rockies, and the Sierra Nevadas. No surprise. Even parts of Appalachia have, at best, a 50-50 chance of having an inch of snow on the ground Christmas morning.

While this Christmas won't be white, it will be warm. We are expecting temperatures to climb into the lower 60s on Christmas Day. This will likely be one of the warmest for Lexington. The warmest Christmas was in 1982 with a high of 70°. (Ironically, the following year featured the coldest Christmas Day temperature. The day began frigid at -2° and ended with a high of 6 above.) A high in the lower 60s would put this year on the list of Lexington's top 5 warmest Christmas Days.

You can get the latest Christmas forecast over on the Weather page or on the LEX 18 StormTracker Weather app.