Snow drips off a leaf Dec. 9. ( George Jiang via Flickr )

Yet another year may well pass without a white Christmas in Washington.

On Tuesday, model forecasts offered a glimmer of hope for some snow on Christmas Day. Today, the prospects have turned dimmer.

“It’s hard to get excited about our snow chances for Christmas,” said Wes Junker, Capital Weather Gang winter weather expert. “The models are becoming increasingly bearish on the chances.”

Junker explained that while both the American and European models move an Arctic front through the region by Christmas morning, neither offers snow.

“The European model doesn’t bring the cold air in quick enough to support snow and rain falls into early Christmas morning,” Junker said. “The American model has the front too far off the coast to offer any precipitation on Christmas.”


GFS model shows front and precipitation well off the East Coast Christmas morning.

His conclusion: “You might dream of a white Christmas but, if you live east of the mountains, you are not likely to see one.”

While snow odds are shrinking, cold temperatures at least may put you in the holiday spirit. Daytime temperatures should mostly be in the 30s.

Because Christmas is still five days away, the forecast could shift. So the opening for a white Christmas isn’t completely sealed shut.

The European modeling system still offers a 10 to 20 percent chance of an inch of snow on the ground by Christmas night.


Percent chance of at least one inch of snow Christmas night from European modeling system. (WeatherBell.com)

Similarly, of the 22 simulations in the American modeling system, two or three show some snow by Christmas night.


Snowfall simulations through Christmas night from different members of the American modeling system. (WeatherBell.com)

The National Weather Service criteria for a white Christmas is at least one inch of snow on the ground at 7 a.m. Dec. 25. Not since 2009 has Washington met this criteria, one of just 13 instances since 1888.

We’ll keep watching.