Dec. 18, 2012 Samantha Borisoff is a climatologist in Cornell University's Department of Earth and Atmospheric Science and at the NOAA-supported Northeast Regional Climate Center. She examined 50 years of weather data and calculated the chances for a white Christmas and a dry New Year's Eve for various cities throughout the United States. Here's what she found:
Borisoff says: "For those dreaming of a white Christmas, it's practically guaranteed in Fairbanks, Alaska, where there has been an inch or more of snow on the ground every Christmas for the past 50 years. What about the contiguous U.S. you ask? There's a 96 percent chance of celebrating the holiday in a winter wonderland in Duluth, Minn.
"In the Northeast, it'll be lovely weather for a sleigh ride together in Pinkham Notch, N.H., where there's a 95 percent chance of an inch or more of snow on the ground on the 25th. And as for New York, Watertown's where it's at; the snow that is! The city has a 76 percent chance of having a white Christmas.
"If you're looking to stay dry while ringing in the New Year, gamble on Las Vegas, where there's only a 2 percent chance of measurable precipitation. Coastal hotspot Miami may have a lot of water nearby, but it shouldn't have much falling from the sky on New Year's Eve with only an 18 percent chance of precipitation.
"How does the ultimate destination, New York City, fare? Well, there's a 46 percent chance it'll rain, or snow, on your New Year's Eve celebration in the Big Apple."
NOTE: City-by-city lists for Christmas snow and New Year's Eve precipitation, as well as graphics and a complete Excel spreadsheet with this data are available at: https://cornell.box.com/holidayweather
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