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Chicago area unlikely to see a White Christmas this year

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Despite the fact that the Chicago area is expected to have several bouts with snow this week, prospects for a White Christmas remain iffy at best.

If, as ChicagoWeatherCenter.com notes, the definition of a White Christmas is one inch of snow – as much as it takes to sufficiently whiten the landscape so that no ground is visible – it won’t be a White Christmas for Chicagoland.

The forecast for Christmas Eve today includes some snow flurries, along with the unpleasant freezing drizzle, but insufficient accumulation to meet those criteria. Same for Christmas Day tomorrow – maybe some snow showers but nothing much.

Having no snow on Christmas is pretty normal, according to the National Weather Service. The agency says that there has been no snow on 37 percent of the Christmases in 126 years of record-keeping. And when snow does fall, it’s usually less than an inch. The largest snowfall was 5.1 inches in 1950.

On Wednesday, though, when the crowds return to stores to return gifts or snap up post-Christmas bargains, there could be several inches of snow, along with winds up to 25 m.p.h. out of the north/northeast.

Temperatures today and tomorrow look to peak in the low 30s, with lows in the mid-20s. Both are in the normal range for the area, according to the National Weather Service. The highest temperature recorded here on Christmas Day was 64 degrees in 1982; the lowest was a year later in 1983 at 17 degrees below-zero.

chicagobreaking@tribune.com

Twitter: @ChicagoBreaking

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