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Why you won't likely see a white Christmas this year: Historic temperature and precipitation in Virginia

As Christmas nears, daydreams grow of presents under decked-out trees, a mug full of hot cocoa and an idyllic white Christmas with snow-lined streets. But snowy dreams are being dashed across the US by this year’s temperature forecast.

The new temperature outlook predicts above-average temperatures for almost the entire US – including Hawaii and a large portion of Alaska – from December 20 to 26, according to the Climate Prediction Center.

At least 1 inch of snow needs to be on the ground where you live on December 25 in order for you to say it was a white Christmas. Above-average temperatures would threaten to stifle the freezing conditions necessary for existing snow to stick to the ground and increase the chances of any new precipitation to fall as rain instead of snow.

For most of the US, the above-average temperatures are tied to warm, moist Pacific air forecast to be pumped east across the US via the jet stream – a river of air high in the atmosphere that transports storms.

Here’s a look at temperature and precipitation in Virginia and the U.S.


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