Dreaming of a white Christmas?

Weather Blog

Peoria, Ill. – Whether you enjoy a good snowfall or would care less if it ever snowed again, many folks probably wouldn’t mind a little snow on Christmas.

What is a white Christmas?

A white Christmas is defined as having at least 1 inch of snow on the ground on December 25th. Snow does not need to be falling for it to be considered a white Christmas.

How often do we see a white Christmas in Central Illinois?

Historically, Central Illinois has a 25-40 percent chance of seeing a white Christmas. When looking at the U.S. Climate Normals, which runs from 1981-2010, we can see how often the area has had at least one inch of snow on the ground on Christmas. Over that 30 year period, the area had 8 to 11 white Christmases. Here are the probabilities for various Central Illinois communities…

Peoria – 35%
Bloomington/Normal – 35%
Galesburg – 34%
Pontiac – 25%
Mackinaw – 32%
Galva – 38%
Kewanee – 35%
Princeton – 37%
Peru/La Salle – 36%

Meanwhile, white Christmases are more common across the Northern Plains, the upper Midwest and in Rocky and Appalachian Mountain Ranges. You can see an interactive map of the historical probabilities here.

What are our chances of a white Christmas this year?

If you are one hoping for a white Christmas you’ll be disappointed. Based on European model data, the chance of a white Christmas in Central Illinois is less than 10%.

After this latest system, temperatures are expected to warm into the 40s by the upcoming weekend and remain there through Christmas. The weather also looks very quiet with little to no rain and snow until after Christmas.

European model ensemble showing the probability of at least 1.0″ of snow on the ground at 6 am on December 25th. Central Illinois’ chance of a white Christmas in 2019 is less than 10%.

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