History suggests a snow-free Thanksgiving for most

It’s still fall, but the air has turned colder and the evenings have gotten darker. Will you see snow on the ground for Thanksgiving? Jessica Spaccio, a climatologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-funded Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University, offers a historical perspective on if you will see snow this Thanksgiving holiday.

Media Note: Maps and graphics showing snow probability and historical conditions can be downloaded at https://cornell.box.com/Thanksgiving2015

Spaccio says:

“The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Climate Prediction Center’s outlook for Nov 24-28 shows increased chances for above normal temperatures for Alaska, southern plains to the Great Lakes and northeast U.S. Below normal temperatures are predicted for much of the western U.S. mountainous areas. These regions are cold enough for snow and may have a white holiday, especially those who currently have snow.

“Based on historical data from 1980-2014, most areas have a low probability of seeing a white Thanksgiving. The highest chance is Anchorage, AK with 77 percent. That’s down from a 93 percent probability during the 1950-1979 time period.”

Historic probabilities for Thanksgiving:

Measureable snow on the ground:
1950-1979
Measureable snow on the ground:
1980-2014
Amirillo, Texas 3% 9%
Anchorage, Alaska 93% 77%
Baltimore, Md. 0% 0%
Beckley, W. Va. 10% 3%
Billings, Mont. 33% 40%
Boise, Idaho 10% 17%
Boston, Mass. 3% 0%
Buffalo, N.Y. 20% 20%
Burlington, Vt. 33% 20%
Caribou, Maine 53% 57%
Cheyenne, Wyo. 20% 34%
Chicago, Ill. 17% 3%
Cleveland, Ohio 23% 6%
Denver, Colo. 23% 34%
Des Moines, Iowa 23% 11%
Detroit, Mich. 7% 6%
Flagstaff, Ariz. 27% 18%
Grand Forks, N. Dak. 48% 47%
Indianapolis, Ind. 10% 0%
Little Rock, Ariz. 0% 3%
Louisville, Ky. 3% 0%
Madison, Wis. 20% 21%
Minneapolis, Minn. 40% 37%
Omaha, Neb. 13% 14%
Philadelphia, Pa. 0% 0%
Salt Lake City, Utah 20% 23%
Seattle, Wash. 0% 4%
Sioux Falls, S.D. 23% 26%
St. Louis, Mo. 0% 3%
Topeka, Kan. 7% 0%
Washington, D.C. 0% 0%
 
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