ALBANY – Last week’s snow storm dumped enough snow on the region to last through Christmas, leaving Christmas morning Friday most assuredly white, even with possible heavy rain forecast for Christmas Eve night and into Christmas.
But, as we face a Christmas unlike any we have known in the past, how unusual will this year’s Christmas snow cover be? Pretty unusual, at least recently, according to the National Weather Service.
Defining a white Christmas as at least one inch of snow on the ground at the Albany International Airport on Christmas morning, 2020 will mark the first white Christmas locally since the one we knew in 2017, when five inches officially covered the ground at the airport, according to the service.
Before that, we have to go all the way back to 2009, a Christmas that barely met the definition, with one inch on the ground (hardly enough to glisten the front lawn, much less a treetop).
That year marked the third of three-straight white Christmases, as we saw four and five inches in 2007 and 2008.
The stated purpose of the stats is “Was there always a ‘White Christmas’ in the Good Old Days at Albany, NY?”
With that, 2020 will mark the 10th official white Christmas in the past 34 years, dating back to 1987. (2002 didn’t count as that year’s Christmas Day storm came after 7 a.m.). That 1987 year ended a string of 28 years that saw not all, but still 20 Christmases meet the service’s definition of white.
But what about the one Bing Crosby – or Irving Berlin – used to know? Not clear, at least at Albany. The stats provided only go back to 1955, the year after Crosby and Berlin’s movie came out.