HELENA — It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, not just the lights and decorations but snow on the ground finally.
Historically Montana, the Northern Rockies, the Northern Plains, and northern New England have the greatest likelihood of having snow on the ground come Christmas morning. Location is important with the northern regions and higher elevations having a better chance. Many areas down south have never experienced a white Christmas.
There are official criteria to make it a "white Christmas." A Christmas is defined to be "white" if at least one inch of snow is on the ground at 5:00 a.m.
Statistically, most of Montana's cities and towns have a 50%-60% chance of a white Christmas but there are some areas that are almost a guarantee. West glacier has a 96% chance of having snow on the ground for Santa. Bozeman, home of the Bobcats, has a 76% historical probability. Kalispell and Missoula both are approximately 70%. Central Montana and Lewistown has 64% odds. Helena and Havre are a shade above 50%, while Great Falls has only a 42% likelihood.
This year likely will increase historic probabilities with not only snow on the ground, but snow in likely to fall on the day as well.
Have a merry, merry Christmas from Chief Meteorologist Curtis Grevenitz.