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Keep on dreaming, Bing

Staff Writer | December 18, 2020 1:07 AM

Treetops will most likely be glistening with raindrops, not snow, on Christmas morning.

The river of moisture from Hawaii that is dampening the area just isn't cold enough to give North Idaho that treasured white Christmas, like the ones we used to know.

"In order to have snow, we have to at least have some cold air at the surface," Press Climatologist Cliff Harris said Thursday. "The thing is, we’ve been in the 40s. Today we’re in the mid-30s, so it's very warm for this time of year."

Harris said he predicts about a 30% chance that it will snow at least an inch on Christmas. It may happen later in the day, he said. But waking up on Christmas morn to a world blanketed in white isn't expected this year.

It didn't happen last year, either. Harris called last year's sprinkling of snow a "semi-white Christmas," when Hayden and northward had more than an inch while folks to the south barely saw any snow.

"We could see a similar thing this year," Harris said.

Harris said it should be considered a bit of a gift that North Idahoans aren't having to shovel their sidewalks right now, or pay hefty heating bills, or worry about winter driving.

"We have a little Christmas gift from Ma Nature," he said. "But she's not done with us yet."

While the first 10 days of December were some of the driest on record, January could be a whole other story.

In the last week of December through the full moon cycle of early February, Harris is predicting North Idaho will receive more than 50 inches of snow.

"The peak will be around Jan. 14 to 15," he said. "January will be the snowiest month."