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Will Boise enjoy a white Christmas? Here is the Farmers’ Almanac’s forecast for Idaho

If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, Boise, your dreams may become a reality this winter.

The Farmers’ Almanac Christmas predictions forecast has arrived for Dec. 24 to Dec. 27, and many of the United States’ northern reaches are in luck.

For many of the country’s colder states, including Idaho, snow is likely in the forecast for Christmas.

What is a white Christmas?

English writer Charles Dickens first popularized the idea of a “white Christmas” through his famous 1843 classic “A Christmas Carol.” A snow-covered Christmas is the backdrop to Ebenezer Scrooge’s ghostly visits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.

The song “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin and Bing Crosby was recorded in 1942 and has been played in households across the country every year since, cementing the idea in popular culture.

The National Weather Service defines a white Christmas as having at least one inch of snow on the ground.

According to weather data from 1991 to 2020, Boise has about a 26-40% chance of a white Christmas, marking it as one of the lowest in Idaho — the rest of the state has nearly a 100% chance.

A map showing the chances of a white Christmas — defined as one inch of snow on the ground — for the United States.
A map showing the chances of a white Christmas — defined as one inch of snow on the ground — for the United States.

The Treasure Valley’s lower chances of a white Christmas come because mountain ranges to the north and south block precipitation from entering the valley and forcing it into drier air.

What is Boise’s Christmas weather forecast?

The Farmers’ Almanac groups Idaho in the Northwest region alongside Oregon and Washington.

“Unsettled weather slowly improves for the Christmas holiday,” the Almanac predicts.

The Almanac, which also makes Christmas predictions, predicts that on Dec. 25, “there will be a white Christmas across the mountains and foothills, but not along coastal locations.”

Of course, Idaho is much farther inland than the coastal plain of Oregon and Washington state. The Climate Prediction Center’s long-range forecast for the next month doesn’t offer many clues, with Boise expected to be around average for temperature and precipitation.

The average high in Boise on Christmas is 36 degrees, and the average low is 22 degrees, so assuming some precipitation falls on or slightly before Christmas, there’s a good chance Boiseans could wake up to a white Christmas.

Boise has recently enjoyed two straight white Christmases off the back of three consecutive snowless Christmases between 2018 and 2020, so it can be considered a coin flip whether Boise will live up to Charles Dickens’ and Bing Crosby’s idea of a white Christmas.

Traveling for Christmas?

Not going to be in Boise for Christmas, and want to know what the chances of a white Christmas are for your destination? Here’s what the Farmers’ Almanac predicts for other areas of the United States.

Northeast and New England

New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C.

“Looks like any wintry precipitation comes to an end, bringing clear skies for holiday events.”

Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and Midwest

Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Wisconsin

“Looks like any wintry precipitation comes to an end, bringing clear skies for holiday events.”

Southeast

Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida

“Some cold and wet precipitation may dampen this Christmas – but never our holiday spirit! After Christmas, expect a slow clearing.”

North Central

Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana

“Looking good for a White Christmas! Possible heavy snow in Colorado and over the Plains just in time to set the mood for the holiday.”

South Central

Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico

“A stormy Christmas across New Mexico to Texas, then clearing. The Gulf Coast looks like it might be a wet holiday rather than white with rain in the forecast.”

Southwest

California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona

A very white Christmas for Utah with heavy snow forecast. Arizona looks stormy but may clear in time for opening presents.