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Snow accumulated in Central Saanich in November this year, but it doesn't look like it'll be falling on Christmas. (Photo: Darren Morson)
There are just two weeks until Christmas and a lot of people are asking, “Will we have a white Christmas in Victoria?” The odds are stacked against us on the west coast, but occasionally it does happen!
Based on records between 1955 and 2015, Victoria gets snow on December 25th about 10 per cent of the time. The odds of a “perfect Christmas,” which is defined as at least two centimetres of snow on the ground and snow falling in the air on Christmas morning, is even less – just six per cent. It happens, but it’s rare, and it’s an absolute delight when it does!
Forecasting a green Christmas for 2017
Early indications suggest Victoria will enjoy a green Christmas. The dry, foggy, and frosty conditions continue for another couple of days under the influence of a strong upper ridge that has prevented stormy or rainy weather from changing our weather pattern for more than a week.
By Thursday the ridge flattens a bit and some rain will arrive on the south island. Long range ensemble forecasts show brief bouts of rain through next weekend, then another drying trend developing starting on December 18th as the resilient ridge rebuilds.
Clearing becomes more prominent December 20th and the cool, dry, clear winter air will be back for Christmas. Expect fog again in valley areas and frost in the early morning. Keep in mind, we’re still two weeks away. A lot can change, however, at this point it looks like we’ll be enjoying crisp walks on the beaches on Christmas Day instead of snowball fights.
As adults we love to share “when I was a kid” stories. A lot of Victorians will tell snowy winter and Christmas tales, lamenting that the season isn’t as wintry as it was decades ago, leading us to believe that our chance of a white Christmas has actually decreased over time.
Statistically, trends reveal the opposite!
According to Environment Canada, our chance of a white Christmas in Victoria between 1955 and 2015 was about 10 per cent overall, but if we break that down, statistics show that our odds of seeing snow on December 25th have increased.
When it comes to snow depth, statistics show that, when we do have a white Christmas, the average amount of snow on the ground on December 25th is deeper now than before.
Averages and statistics aside, this year we’ll only be dreaming of a white Christmas in Victoria. If you really want snow for the holidays, you’ll have to zip up to Mt. Washington!