PRESTONSBURG – Irving Berlin wrote a hit song about it. Bing Crosby made it famous in two movies. And as a side note, my cousin Johnny Brascia did all the dance routines with Vera Ellen in the hit movie. I’m talking about White Christmas.
Someone asked me at lunch the other day, about the odds of having a White Christmas here in Eastern Kentucky. So I did a little research and found out a little information.
First of all, there is actually an “official” definition of the term White Christmas — “one inch of snow on the ground during Dec. 25.” The snow does not have to fall on Dec. 25. There are also some “unofficial definitions” — any snow falling on Dec. 25, or any snow covering the ground on Dec. 25, or at least one inch of snow falling on Dec. 25.
So I guess at this point. Let’s stick with the “official” definition and let’s look at some places around the country before we look at Kentucky. Obviously, the farther South you go in the United States, the less chance there is of White Christmas. Florida has a 0 percent chance of snow on Christmas, but some states in the south do have a chance. Alabama had an unusual 3 inches snowfall in 1929, while the panhandle of Texas has about an 8 percent chance of snow. Some places in Arizona and New Mexico have a 40-to-75 percent chance of a White Christmas due to the mountains and higher elevation. I remember being in some of those places many years ago on Memorial Day weekend and there was actually snow on the mountains.
Moving North, into my old neck of the woods, in New York City there is only a 10 percent chance of a White Christmas, but in Buffalo and Syracuse, the percentages are 57 percent and 70 percent respectively.
If you want a guaranteed chance of snow on Christmas, Fairbanks, Alaska has a 100 percent chance. Yet Portland, Oregon, way up north only has a 1 percent chance! Closer to Kentucky, Charleston, W.Va., has a 30 percent chance of snow and Huntington, W.Va., a 25 percent chance of snow.
So now we arrive at Kentucky. What are the chances of a White Christmas? I could not find any official data as far as Eastern Kentucky, but here are the chances of a few places around the state. Louisville has a 13 percent chance, Covington has a 17 percent chance, and Lexington has a 10 percent chance.
So if you are staying in the Prestonsburg area for Christmas, the chances are not good to see a White Christmas. Head North, or if you are looking for a White Christmas feeling, just go out and watch the movie!