Parts of the U.S. Are Likely to See a White Christmas This Year — Here's Where
Dreams of a White Christmas are becoming a reality as heavy snow (and rain) is expected to blanket parts of the country in time for the holiday.
This weekend, states like Washington and Oregon could see flakes fall, bringing the possibility of a winter wonderland to cities like Seattle and Portland, CNN reported. Just south, the National Weather Service Sacramento predicts several feet of snow could fall in the Sierra Nevada mountains with as much as 6 to 8 feet expected through Sunday following a recent blizzard.
"A series of winter storms will bring several feet of snow to #NorCal mountains this week," the NWS tweeted. "Expect significant holiday travel delays, with hazardous conditions expected."
The predicted storm is actually an anomaly in the Pacific Northwest cities as the chances of those cities seeing this kind of weather on Christmas is somewhere between just 1% and 3%.
In fact, the historic probability of there being at least 1 inch of snow on the ground on Dec. 25 is fairly low for the majority of the West Coast (except for the Rockies or the Sierra Nevada mountains, of course), according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. For the best chance of seeing a White Christmas, travelers should head to places like Alaska, Minnesota, Maine, upstate New York, the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and "practically anywhere in Idaho."
While snow will delight some for the holidays, CNN noted some lower elevations could see rain instead of flakes with 1 to 3 inches of rain expected in some areas and flash flooding possible.
Whether it's snow or heavy rain, Christmas travel is expected to bear the brunt of it with crowded airports likely to see delays. Most major airlines have not yet issued travel advisories for the coming days, but passengers preparing to catch a flight should be aware of their airline's change fee policy before heading to the airport.
And those who get stuck at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport can drown their woes in French fries thanks to a Shake Shack giveaway that promises free snacks to anyone with a canceled or delayed flight.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.