Reporting Joe Joyce
BOSTON (CBS) – If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas like last year, you may want to go back to sleep.
The late October nor’easter made for an unprecedented White Halloween, and a promising start for snow lovers.
But ever since then, the second warmest November on record has lingered into December.
Time may simply be running out for our chances for snow this Christmas season.
WBZ-TV Meteorologist Joe Joyce reports.
A white Christmas is considered by many to have at least an inch or more of snow on the ground by Christmas day.
Based on 25 years or more of data, the National Climatic Data Center says the greatest probabilities of a white Christmas are across northern New England.
The top five places most likely to celebrate in the snow are Caribou (97%), Houlton (96%), Augusta (90%), Montpelier (93%), and Mt. Washington. (93%)
The chances decrease significantly in southern New England.
Yearly averages show Worcester with a 60% chance, while Boston has far less of a chance because of it’s proximity to the warm ocean water.
Still these percentages do not apply to this year.
That is because of the weather pattern we are in.
In your typical wintry December pattern, like last year, there is plenty of cold air around with storms being directed up the east coast with periodic snow.
This year there is just too much warmth, and not enough cold.
La Nina conditions are present for the second straight year.
La Nina is the colder than average water temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
The difference from this year to last is the lack of an overall blocking pattern.
Last year, strong high pressure over Greenland blocked the cold air and directed it into the eastern U.S.
This year, this lack of blocking is helping to keep a split flow to the jetstream with weaker and wetter storms which sometimes completely miss.
Chances are we will likely see at least a few flakes falling at some point between now and Christmas.
The question is when we wake up in the morning - will we see snow on the ground or will this unseasonable warmth be the Grinch who stole another White Christmas?