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A white Christmas for Wichita? Not likely

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011, at 2:32 p.m.

Wichita residents hoping for a white Christmas this year aren’t likely to get what they want, forecasters said Wednesday.

With Christmas just 10 days away, forecast models are offering little evidence that snow will be on the ground or flying through the skies for the holiday.

“Right now, it’s looking a pretty slim chance of a white Christmas” for Wichita, said Rich Putnam, a meteorologist for AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions in Wichita.

Historically, Wichita has — at best — only about a 25 percent chance of a white Christmas any given year. That means at least an inch of snow on the ground on Dec. 25.

History aside, anticipated weather patterns for later this month aren’t likely to bring snow to Kansas, forecasters say.

“I just don’t see big indications of a big storm…to get excited about,” said Jim Caruso, a meteorologist for the Wichita branch of the National Weather Service. “That could change, but.…”

Wichita could see a couple rounds of snowfall between now and Christmas — starting with next Monday or Tuesday, forecasters say — but warm spells between the snowfalls should melt anything that falls.

Cold air is expected to slide into the region Christmas weekend, Putnam said, but there won’t be any moisture in the atmosphere for that cold air to turn into snow.

Optimists have reason to cling to hope, however.

“It’s still a long way out” to nail down a more specific forecast, Putnam said.

So keep on dreaming of a white Christmas, Wichita.

At least for now.

Contact Stan Finger at 316-268-6437.

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