Waiting for our snow

We were wondering if we were going to have a white Xmas this year — it looks pretty brown out there with a few small spots of crunchy snow here and there. The weather forecast looks like continuing brownness through next week. So we were wondering how often this happens…and the National Weather Service provided the history. We had brown Christmasses here in 2021, 2018, 2015, 2014, etc.!

I’m not worried. I’m sure we’ll get a white January and February.


  1. StevoR says

    Summer Solstice here.

    Its warm albeit not as hot & dry and Bushfire~wise ctastrophic as I’ve feared it would be – yet. So fat.

    Happy December Solstice yáll – allbeit already over by half an hour where I live :


    Timezones and planetary* geography huh?

    .* I mean ok, we could be on an asteroid / comet or moon or moonlet or gas giant or drifting in the Black (interstellar or interglactic) and all but still

  2. StevoR says

    So far.. Not catastrophic. Clarifying add.

    Thanks Global Warming Overheating .

    Got worse and worse and ever worse and more often worse to look “forward” too for the rest of my life and indefinitely ever after..

    (Apologies for the bummer Downer here. )

    Some of the graphs and the trends here.. Fucking terrrifying.

  3. Akira MacKenzie says

    Yeah, down here in SE Cheeseland, we’re looking forward to a brown Christmas. We had some light snowfall around Halloween, but that quickly melted/sublimated and it’s been cold or rainy since.

    Gee, it’s almost as if the globe has gotten warmer and the climate is changing.

  4. Ed Seedhouse says

    We don’t get snow around Xmas very often here in Victoria B.C. In fact even the tops of our local hills are often green all winter.

    They are pretty small hills though – the highest ones visible from my house are under 450 meters. The Olympic mountains to the south are a lot higher and usually white at their tops, but they are in the USA, not Canada. If you drive north you reach some higher hills just north of Duncan and they are white even this year.

  5. Walter Solomon says

    Obviously “new snowfall” would be the ideal for the those who care about such things and doesn’t seem to happen very often. Sucks for them I guess.

  6. lumipuna says

    A brown Christmas? When that happens here in Finland, above 60 degrees north, we call it “black Christmas”.

    This relates to something curious I noticed a few years ago. The winter 2019-20 was extremely mild, and there wasn’t really even intermittent snow cover in Helsinki. There was very little frost. Usually, there’s consistent snow cover by January or February, and at least intermittent snow from November or December onward. The snow usually melts in March or early April.

    That year, as the winter progressed from December to February or so, I saw the colors come back. The evergreen trees turned from black to dark green. The mud and the deciduous trees turned from black to dark brown. The walking paths turned from grey to pale brown. The lawns turned from grey to pale green. The tall withered grass turned from grey to yellow and brown.

    Normally in early winter, everything fades into shades of black and grey, and then turns more into grey and white as the snow settles on the ground. The light in each season has its own quality, mostly depending on solar angle. Particularly when the solar angle is very low, even a few degrees makes a noticeable difference. Cloud cover of lack thereof also makes a huge difference, though it’s rarely cloudless in early winter. In low light conditions, human color perception is greatly reduced.

    In most winters, during the snowy season, I tend to forget how the bare ground looks like in early winter just before snow. In February 2020, as the solar angle increased and there were occasional sunny days, it didn’t feel quite like spring, despite the lack of snow, because the solar angle was still much lower than in April. There was also more greenery than there is usually in early spring, because the lawns hadn’t died entirely in the mild winter weather. It was different from the harsh sunlight and yellow lawns of April. It felt like going back to late October or early November.

    I guess I had always attributed the blackness of early winter to vegetation dying. Now, I noticed that the vegetation doesn’t actually die quite that much, especially if there’s not much frost, and the bare soil doesn’t actually turn black. It just looks like that in early winter’s twilight.

  7. wzrd1 says

    We’ll get a white Christmas only if a truck of white paint overturns on the highway. Haven’t seen kids ice skating on ponds and lakes in decades.
    Give it time though, I’m sure we’ll get some heavy snow, at least as heavy as one gets on Venus.

  8. mordred says

    Most of Germany seems to have storm and flood warning for Christmas this year. White Christmas has been rare in most parts of the country even before global warming, we get most of our snow in January and February.

  9. says

    I’m afraid that the GOP wants only white Christmases from here on out. All of those with other skin colors can just go back to Africa or Asia or wherever they came from. They get to decide who is white enough, too; I bet I don’t qualify. Schade.

    Given global warming, in a few years the only white Christmas celebrations in the lower 48 will refer to the sheets they’re wearing.

  10. gijoel says

    @StevoR On the other side of the Oz we’re expecting heavy rains. Straya, if it ain’t on fire it’s under water, or both.

  11. Steve Morrison says

    IMHO white Christmases are much better for singing about than for actually experiencing. Who needs snow when so many cars are on the roads?

  12. Rob Grigjanis says

    Maybe I have a masochistic streak. I love shovelling snow. The more the better. No joy in Toronto yet.

  13. birgerjohansson says

    (cheesy romantic music video with snow)
    Wham!’s song Last Christmas finally made it to number one, 39 years after it was released.

  14. brightmoon says

    NYC used to get foot high snow and below 0F (-18C)winters that stayed cold for weeks. Now I feel lucky if it gets to 32F (0C) and stays there for 2 days in a row . I actually hate cold weather! The only reason it bothers me is because I know that the trees won’t break dormancy in spring if it gets too warm and that will kill them. I’m a bit of a treehugger/ plant fiend.

  15. flange says

    I hope you ex-Christians, lapsed Christians get the snow you wish for. I know you think, now as atheists, that Christmas is really a secular, non-religious holiday, that everyone of every faith or non-faith can enjoy the traditions, celebration, and music of the Christmas season.
    I assure you that, as an atheist, nominal Jew, I hold no warm and fuzzy feelings about Christmas, Christmas trees, Santa Claus, or any of it. To me, it’s a majority religion’s holiday. And I don’t belong. I suspect many people on this site, in this country feel the same way.

  16. chrislawson says

    Shows how much I know about Minnesota. I assumed you’d get much more than 3 inches of snow pretty much every winter. I stand corrected.

  17. wzrd1 says

    I stopped shoveling show decades ago. Six inches and under gets a street broom. Those bristles are stiff enough to move even wet snow without my having to pick that shit up.

  18. rabbitbrush says

    I’m with @16 flange. And with the bears. I go into hibernation starting mid-November until mid- January.

  19. wzrd1 says

    Yep, the latest forecast for here is, 55 degrees F (12.78 C), so the only way we’ll get a white Christmas is if a truckload of white paint overturns and spills.
    Upside, I don’t have to fly south for the winter. That’s good, as it’s really hard on my shoulder.

  20. ajbjasus says

    Just came back from tg3 French Alps.

    Neve4 seen as much snow at this time of rhe year, ditto Austria.

    Could be a combination o& more moisture in the air plus the altitude.

    It seems to have rained in the UK continuously since October.

  21. raven says

    I assumed you’d get much more than 3 inches of snow pretty much every winter. I stand corrected.

    I’m sure they will.

    We are talking about christmas here.

    Out northern hemisphere winter is only 3 days old. Technically, it starts with the Winter Solstice on December 21.

    It usually snows all winter and half the spring. Last average snowfall in Minnesota is in April.
    Average snowfall in St. Cloud which is near Morris is 5.8 feet or 1.78 meters.
    In mid winter, people drive cars on the frozen lakes, or at least they used to. You need a foot of ice for that.

    This explains why a lot of old people from the north central regions retire to Arizona or Florida.

    How late in the year does it snow in Minnesota?

    Heavy snowfalls occur from November to April, averaging about 70 inches (178 cm) annually in the northeast near Duluth and 30 inches (76 cm) in the southeast. Blizzards hit Minnesota twice each winter on the average. Spring is a time of major transition in Minnesota.

    Climate in Minnesota for International Students | St. Cloud State University
    stcloudstate.edu https://www.stcloudstate.edu › accepted-next-steps › clim..

  22. wzrd1 says

    ajbjasus @ 21, well, it’s always rained in the UK, ever since the earth was created in a multi-rock pileup in a foggy bit of the nebula during rush hour. ;)

    raven @ 22, being from Pennsylvania, I considered retiring to Florida, but reconsidered after discovering Florida Man. With Arizona Man being a close second, guess I’m stuck retiring to Pennsyltucky.
    Frying pan, fire, six of one, half dozen of the other… Maybe I should ask Sam Clemens views on retiring in hell or Texas.