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Science with Sarah: Odds of a White Christmas | Weather

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Science with Sarah: Odds of a White Christmas

After Arkansans experienced the snowiest Christmas in nearly 80 years last year, you can't help but wonder if we're getting another white-out this go 'round. In this week's Science with Sarah, we're breaking down what it takes for snow in Arkansas and what the odds are of it happening again.

Cold air, moisture, and a lifting mechanism are three categories the Natural State needs for snow. Usually we end up with two out of the three components. For instance, being so close to the Gulf, we usually have moisture or, in our case, some type of cold precipitation. Cold air coming from the ground is usually what lacks in the Mississippi Valley. A mid-level south/southeast wind can surge a warm pocket of air in the sky and melt the snow into rain, producing an ice storm.

The 2012 Christmas snow storm shattered the record books because of the particular location of an area of low-pressure. Low pressure causes air to rise and ignites precipitation. In our case last year, a strong low pressure system collided with Gulf moisture in just the right location to produce record-breaking snowfall.

After crunching some numbers and looking climatologically at December 25th, the odds of a white Christmas any year in central Arkansas comes down to about 5%.

We would love to hear your story of the historic Christmas snow. How long was power out for you? Any fond memories of kids seeing snow for the first time? Send us your pictures by uploading them to the photo album here: http://www.thv11.com/news/photo-gallery.aspx?storyid=287503