Hoping for a white Christmas?
Environment Canada weather guru Dave Phillips says it’ll come down to a “crapshoot” this year.
“Flip a coin. It is very difficult this time of year to predict. Of course a seven-day forecast is only right two-thirds of the time when it comes to temperature. So when we see a system (of precipitation) it is tough to know in advance whether that system will turn into rain or snow by the time it reaches us.”
There is an official definition of a “white Christmas,” (probably copyrighted by Hallmark or Disney by now), Phillips added.
There’s got to be at least two centimetres of snow on the ground by 7 a.m. Christmas morning.
There’s also, what is described by the weather community as a “perfect Christmas day,” Phillips said.
“It’s not one where the in-laws stay over (or don’t), it’s one where you get the Christmas card look with snow on the ground and snow in the air and that snow in the air covers all of that dirty snow cover at the end of the driveway.”
Interestingly, the chances of snow on Christmas have been going down, Phillips notes, “from about 75 per cent (in the Waterloo Region) to roughly 60 per cent.”
That’s due, in part, to “urbanization and the fact that winters aren’t what they used to be, even though last year’s was a real exception,” Phillips said. “There’s also more pavement now and more people and more cars. If we could just move Christmas back a month, the chances of snow would shoot right up, but as it is, the holiday occurs less than a week after winter officially begins and this time of the year you can be assaulted by warm rains and melting temperatures or big dumps of snow. It is still about a month or so from what we call the dog days of winter at the end of January when the coldest temperatures arrive.”
So if you are really set on a festive sleigh ride to celebrate Christmas, perhaps consider moving to Buffalo.