By Katy Galimberti – AccuWeather
Upon the millions of Christmas cards that hit store shelves each holiday season, many are strewn with images of a homey dwelling tucked under puffy mounds of white snow.
While many dream of a similar white Christmas setting to fall during the winter celebrations, conditions do not always align to bring the picture-perfect snowy scene.
This year’s conditions bring the highest chance of a white Christmas for those across the Midwest, the Ohio Valley, the Rockies and portions of New England, according to AccuWeather.com Expert Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok.
White Christmas Probability in Eastern US
High pressure will keep much of the Northeast dry through the weekend so folks who are hoping for a white Christmas will have to look farther down the road for snow.
Areas downwind of the Great Lakes have seen a little snow the past few days, enough to at least cover the ground. However, temperatures will be on the rise into early next week which will melt most of that snow.
As the bustle of holiday travel begins early next week, a potent storm will impact the East Coast. According to AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Brett Anderson, the storm will mostly be a rain event for major cities like New York, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia which will keep the chances for a white Christmas low.
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However, moving inland into areas like interior New England, the opposite will occur. The storm will bring snow over the days leading up to Christmas, and residents can look forward to a snowy setting for Christmas day. Following the storm, conditions will trend colder and the snowcover will stay put.
White Christmas Probability in Midwest
For the Midwest, a weekend storm will brush the area with snow but not enough to last into Christmas on its own.
Into next week, a system roaming from the Pacific Northwest will lead to snowy conditions in cities like Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis and Des Moines, Iowa, during the days leading up to Christmas.
The moderate storm could leave anywhere from 1 to 12 inches of snow throughout the Upper Midwest.
This snowfall comes with lasting power as temperatures will keep the powder on the ground through Christmas Day.
White Christmas Probability in the West
Other than in higher elevations, a weekend storm over the Rockies will bring nothing more than rain. However, as Christmas draws closer, fresh snow will fall over lower elevation areas in Wyoming and Montana making for a white Christmas.
A storm beginning Christmas Eve will offer widespread snow across the central Rockies and bring a white Christmas to residents near Salt Lake City.
In the Northern Great Basin, a coating of snow is a possibility. Areas like Reno, Nevada, and Boise, Idaho, could see rain with periods of snow.
Rain could turn into snow showers east of the Cascades in Washington. However, it might not be enough to produce true white Christmas conditions.
Around the West Coast, the Sierra will see the snow stick throughout Christmas, according to Anderson.