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Will Rhode Island Have A White Christmas In 2021?

Patch logo Patch 12/3/2021 Rachel Nunes
It's hard to tell if Rhode Island will have snow on the ground for Christmas, unless you have a magic forecast snowglobe. © Michael DeSantis/Patch It's hard to tell if Rhode Island will have snow on the ground for Christmas, unless you have a magic forecast snowglobe.

PROVIDENCE, RI — For some, the holidays simply aren’t the same without a blanket of fresh, white snow on the ground. But what are the odds of actually experiencing this simple pleasure on Christmas Day in Rhode Island?

A white Christmas could be hard to come by in some parts of the United States this year, according to newly released forecasts by prognosticators including Farmers’ Almanac and Accuweather.

Meanwhile, other states face an even greater chance for snow thanks to La Niña, a meteorological phenomenon during which sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean drop to lower-than-average levels.

La Niña played a major role in this year’s predictions, according to Accuweather, tending to steer storms northward and cutting off moisture to the southern portion of the United States.

So what does this mean for Rhode Island this Christmas? Will we see fresh snow this holiday weekend?

It's possible, though still hard to say this early in the month. The Farmer's Almanac predicted "frigidly cold weather," with snow showers possible for the Northeast region.

If no snow falls on Christmas Day, will the Ocean State at least see snow on the ground? The chances are high/low, according to the Farmers’ Almanac.

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Using three decades worth of climatological measurements, the Farmers’ Almanac annually predicts the probability that a snow depth of at least 1 inch will be recorded on Christmas Day in Rhode Island. This year, the probability is about 25 to 40


In the Sierras, Cascades, the leeward side of the Great Lakes and northern New England, Christmas snow cover is a near certainty, Farmers’ Almanac says. In these regions, most precipitation in late autumn and early winter falls as snow, making the probability of snowfall exceed 25 percent.

At higher elevations in the Rocky Mountains and at many locations between the northern Rockies and New England, the probability of snow on the ground is more than 50 percent.

For those who opt for a green Christmas, the best places to be in late December will be Southern California, the lower elevations of the Southwest, and Florida.

Of course, Farmers’ Almanac isn’t the only expert in predicting holiday weekend weather. Accuweather also released its 2021 holiday forecast this week, and its predictions are about the same: according to its predictions, it's possible, but not extremely likely that we'll have snow on the ground on Christmas.

Accuweather also looks at the historical probability that residents of Rhode Island will have a white Christmas. Typically in our state, there’s a 25 to 50 percent chance of at least 1 inch of snow on the ground by the holiday weekend.

This year, the odds of a white Christmas in Rhode Island are close to normal, according to Accuweather.

The fascination with a white Christmas was likely popularized by the writings of Charles Dickens. The depiction of a snow-covered Christmas season in his 1843 classic “A Christmas Carol,” and a number of his other short stories, was reportedly influenced by memories of his childhood.

The song “White Christmas,” written by Irving Berlin and sung by Bing Crosby, is among the best-selling singles of all time. The tune nostalgically speaks of a white Christmas and has since become embedded in American holiday traditions.


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