Upon the millions of Christmas cards that hit store shelves each holiday season, many are strewn with images of a homey dwelling tucked under puffy mounds of white snow.
While many dream of a similar white Christmas setting to fall during the winter celebrations, conditions do not always align to bring the picture-perfect snowy scene.
This year's conditions bring the highest chance of a white Christmas for those across the Midwest, the Ohio Valley, the Rockies and portions of New England, according to AccuWeather.com Expert Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok.
White Christmas Probability in Eastern US
A weak storm will produce light snow in the central Appalachians, western Virginia, Kentucky as well as across interior Pennsylvania this weekend, but some of it will melt in the following days, according to AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson.
The same weekend storm will produce higher snow totals in New England, upstate New York and northwestern Pennsylvania. With up to 3 inches expected to fall, the snow should stay on the ground through Christmas, setting up a wintry scene.
As the bustle of holiday travel begins early next week, a second storm will impact the East Coast. In major cities like New York, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia, the storm will mostly be a rain event according to Anderson and the chances for a white Christmas remain low.
However, moving inland into areas like interior New England, the opposite will occur. The storm will bring snow over the days leading up to Christmas, and residents can look forward to a snowy setting for Christmas day. Following the storm, conditions will trend colder and the snowcover will stay put.
White Christmas Probability in Midwest
For the Midwest, a weekend storm will brush the area with snow but not enough to last into Christmas on its own. Into next week, a system roaming from the Pacific Northwest will lead to snowy conditions in major cities like Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis and Des Moines, Iowa, during the days leading up to Christmas. The moderate storm could leave anywhere from 1 to 6 inches of snow. This snowfall comes with lasting power as temperatures will keep the powder on the ground through Christmas Day.
White Christmas Probability in the West
Other than in higher elevations, a weekend storm over the Rockies will bring nothing more than rain. However, as Christmas draws closer, fresh snow will fall over lower elevation areas in Wyoming and Montana making for a white Christmas.
A storm beginning Christmas Eve will offer widespread snow across the central Rockies and bring a white Christmas to residents in cities like Salt Lake City and Denver, according to Anderson.
Modest accumulations could also fall in northern Nevada, increasing the likelihood of a white Christmas.
Around the West Coast, the Sierra will see the snow stick throughout Christmas, according to Anderson.