Dreaming of a white Christmas?

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 23, 2003

It is not often that we wake up Dec. 25th and find a white Christmas, but it might be a little more likely this year.

According to information from the Charleston, W.Va., office of the National Weather Service, there is a chance of snow Christmas Eve and the fluffy white stuff may continue falling through the early morning hours Christmas Day.

It has been 10 years since the area has seen measurable snow on Christmas Day. According to a prepared statement by meteorologist Ken Batty, the area is about due for a White Christmas.

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"Weather records tell us that for every 10 Christmas mornings, about two or three had snow on the ground at dawn," Batty said. "At elevations of less than 2,000 feet above sea level, past Christmas mornings have been white only about 20 or 30 percent of the time. This could include the majority of the larger cities."

The weather forecast calls for a storm front to move through the region late Tuesday and into the daytime hours Christmas Eve. While the front edge of the storm will probably be rain, the temperatures are expected to fall Wednesday afternoon and the rain will change to snow.

The last time the Tri-State recorded a white Christmas was 1993. Prior to that, snow blanketed the area on Dec. 25 in 1989 and 1985, according to Batty. While it may not have the same effect, staring back from a holiday postcard, the area has seen more than a few warmer-than-normal Christmases.

In 1982 the mercury hit 76 degrees at both Tri-State and Yeager airports.

The forecast calls for cloudy skies and a 50 percent chance of rain Tuesday with temperatures in the 40s. As the mercury drops to the 30s Tuesday night, the chance of rain increases slightly to 60 percent.

On Christmas Eve, the forecast calls for a 50 percent chance of rain in the morning and snow later on in the day, with highs in the 30s. The 50 percent chance of snow continues into the evening hours on Christmas Eve as temperatures slip into the upper 20s.

On Christmas Day, the weather forecast calls for a 50 percent chance of snow with temperatures in the upper 30s.