Dreaming of a White Christmas? It happens less in Virginia than you might think!

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ROANOKE, Va. – Happy Monday and welcome to another edition of Beyond The Forecast!

We are less than two weeks out from Christmas and many of you are probably wondering, “Will we get some snow for the holiday this year?”

First, let’s give you the definition of a White Christmas. The flakes don’t actually have to fly on December 25! There just needs to be at least one inch of snow on the ground.

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We can look back in the historical record and figure out just how often we’ve had White Christmases in Southwest and Central Virginia.

It actually doesn’t happen as much as you might think! The historical odds range from 6 percent in Danville to 21 percent in Hot Springs. Roanoke and Lynchburg are tied at 12 percent.

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Roanoke’s last White Christmas was pretty recent! You might remember the snow from the holiday in 2020.

Before that, the Star City had been snowless on Christmas since 2009. The largest gap between White Christmases? 1966 to 1989, a span of 23 years!

Here are the past 70 years in the Roanoke Valley. There were also a few White Christmases recorded in the 1930s and 1940s.

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Even though we’re getting close to the holiday, it’s still too early to say with any certainty that we will or won’t have a White Christmas this year.

We *can* tell you that the week of Christmas has a good chance of being colder than average, which would be helpful for snow production.

The precipitation outlook isn’t as rosy for snow lovers, but it’s still possible the cold air and a storm system could link up to produce snow on or before December 25th.

(Copyright 2022 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

When we have a better idea of what the specific forecast looks like closer to Christmas, we’ll be sure to pass it along!

Switching gears to this week’s forecast, we’ll have another day of calm sunshine before the rain and a wintry mix moves in later this week. Chris Michaels is tracking when some of you could see freezing rain in our daily forecast article.

You can always get specific forecast details for your zone, whether it’s the Roanoke Valley, Southside, the Highlands, or elsewhere around Southwest and Central Virginia, anytime at WSLS.com/weather. Know your zone!

In case you missed it, we’re posting great weather and science content on WSLS.com. Here are a few links from the past week to check out:

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– Justin McKee