Dec 14, 2022 - News

Forecast: Denver's chances for a white Christmas this year

Data: NOAA; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios Visuals
Data: NOAA; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios Visuals

You'll need to keep dreaming if you're wishing for a White Christmas in Denver.

The early forecasts for Dec. 25 don't look optimistic. Forecasters predict only a slight chance of snow and little to no accumulation in Denver.

  • The outlook for snow in the Colorado mountains is better with colder temperatures and more moisture in the air.

Why it matters: 'Tis the season. 🎄

By the numbers: To qualify as a white Christmas, the National Weather Services says at least 1 inch of snow must accumulate on Dec. 25.

  • Since 2000, Denver has seen snow on Christmas only three times and came just shy of an inch two other times, according to the National Weather Service. The most recent snowfall on Christmas was in 2015.
  • In nine of those 21 years, we've had at least an inch of snow on the ground.

Of note: Denver's historical chance of a white Christmas is 34%, per NOAA.

  • For most Colorado mountains, and even parts of the foothills, the chances are above 75%.

What's happening: Climate change has led to warmer temperatures and less snowfall throughout the U.S. over the last 50 years, according to Climate Central meteorologists.

Zoom in: For weather trivia fans, here's a little more climatology history since 1872.

  • The coldest Christmas posted lows of -15° in 1876. The warmest came in 2005 with highs reaching 69°.
  • The most snow on the ground was 24 inches in 1982 and the most snow on the holiday itself was 7.8 inches in 2007.
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