River stage: 8.61 ft. Falling
Monday, Dec. 9, 2013
White Christmas forecast: It's time to break out the dartboardPosted Wednesday, December 16, 2009, at 10:31 AM
Just my luck. As soon as I posted yesterday's blog about a chance of accumulating snow this weekend, the official forecast was updated to a dreaded rain-changing-to-snow forecast, and only a 20% chance of that to boot.
These rain-changing-to-snow predictions rarely pan out. The notable exception was the Blizzard of '79, but that's the exception that proves the rule.
The long-range forecast does call for cold weather next week, with high temperatures in the 30s most days. Moisture will be limited, but a series of weak systems could possibly, perhaps, maybe, hopefully bring snow showers in the days leading up to Christmas.
So there's a reasonable chance that we could have a White Christmas this year, but I'm not holding my breath.
Historically, Cape Girardeau has an 18% probability of a White Christmas each year, defined as having at least 1 inch of snow on the ground at 6 AM.
I would argue that the definition should be expanded to include any snow on the ground or in the air at any point during the day. Even with the expanded definition, though, the odds of a White Christmas aren't very favorable around here.
It always seems St. Louis and Springfield get more snowstorms than we do, but their odds of a White Christmas (using the official definition) are only slightly better: 23% chance for them versus 18% for us. If you really want to see a White Christmas, then travel to International Falls, Minnesota, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, or Fairbanks, Alaska, all of which have a 100% probability. I like those odds!
Here is the official probability map fron the National Climatic Data Center:
It's a little early to make predictions about our prospects for a White Christmas, but it's never too early to make wild uneducated guesses using the Dartboard Forecast Model. Here's the current scenario, which will undoubtedly change about 25 times between now and Dec. 25:
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In this blog, weather junkies on the Southeast Missourian staff talk about (what else?) the weather. Give us your observations, folk wisdom and Farmers Almanac tales -- it's a weather free for all.
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