For Many in the US, Expect a Green Christmas Instead of White

White Christmas Hopes Dim for Most Americans, While Alaska May Set Records

The festive wish for a snowy landscape is likely to remain just that for many Americans this holiday season. Current conditions suggest a predominantly green Christmas across much of the United States.

Regions like the Rockies and parts of the Midwest are seeing some snowfall, with the possibility of a light dusting before the holiday. However, areas typically blanketed in white by this time of year are still showcasing the dull hues of late autumn.

Judah Cohen, an expert in seasonal forecasting at Verisk Atmospheric and Environmental Research, notes that while a few will witness a last-minute snowy transformation, the majority will experience a Christmas without the traditional snow cover. The Northeast, in particular, was hit with a potent storm earlier in the week, which brought heavy rains and disrupted the snow base at ski resorts.

Tom Day, who manages Gunstock Mountain Resort in New Hampshire, described the impact of the 8.8-centimeter downpour combined with strong winds as significant, though not devastating to their trails. He lamented the unwelcome rain, given its detrimental effect on the ski industry.

Nationwide, snow coverage is at one of its lowest levels for this period, and Cohen predicts little improvement by Christmas Day. A weather system moving from the Rockies toward Canada may bring snow to the western Plains and potentially as far as Denver and Minnesota.

However, the National Weather Service shares a similar outlook, with a lackluster prediction for a white Christmas in many regions, despite favorable travel conditions.

For those seeking a guaranteed snowy scene, Alaska presents the best odds, with Anchorage potentially nearing its record snow depth set in 1994.

The diminishing occurrence of Christmas snow is partially a consequence of climate change, according to Cohen. He points out that winters are becoming shorter and warmer, particularly December, which now barely fits the winter profile, presenting challenges for early-season winter sports.

Despite recent setbacks from inclement weather, Northeastern snow enthusiasts remain resilient. Gunstock and other ski resorts quickly reopened after the storm, with visitors like Ryan Sloan from New York finding the conditions surprisingly acceptable.

The robust snowmaking capabilities and drainage systems of these resorts have enabled them to preserve their trails. Vermont’s ski areas, though affected by the rain, anticipate a swift recovery due to the cold temperatures expected later in the week.

In the Rockies, ski resorts are facing difficulties with limited snow for opening trails and lifts. Breckenridge Ski Resort and Mammoth Mountain are among those operating below full capacity.

Nevertheless, there is a silver lining for snow aficionados in the Northeast, as forecasts suggest a colder turn in the weather just before the New Year, potentially heralding a snowier January.

As the year draws to a close, there’s renewed hope for a wintry landscape that could revive the fortunes of snow lovers in the eastern U.S.,

“White Christmas? For Most of US, It’ll be Brown” likely refers to a weather forecast or climate trend report indicating that a significant portion of the United States should not expect snowfall on Christmas Day. This scenario is often due to above-average temperatures during the winter season, which can be influenced by climate change and regional weather patterns.

A brown Christmas, as opposed to a white one, means that the ground will be devoid of snow, leaving the natural or dormant vegetation, bare soil, or urban landscapes visible. It can also impact winter activities and traditions that depend on snow, such as sledding, skiing, and snowman building.

Meteorologists use historical weather data, current weather models, and satellite imagery to predict whether regions will experience snowfall on Christmas. Factors such as El Niño or La Niña patterns, the Arctic Oscillation, and the North Atlantic Oscillation can affect winter weather in the US, influencing whether conditions will be conducive to snow.

The absence of snow during the holiday season can be a disappointment for some, but it also reduces the risks and challenges associated with winter travel, making it easier for people to visit family and friends. However, for areas that rely on winter tourism or have ecosystems dependent on regular snowfall, a lack of snow can have economic and environmental impacts.

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