Are you dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones you used to know? "Not so fast," say the grinches over at AccuWeather. They issued a decree this afternoon declaring that anything less than an inch of snow on the ground is not, in fact, a white Christmas. They are wrong.
AccuWeather, in its all-knowing ways, already claims that it is able to "predict" the "weather" 45 days in advance, so it's only natural that they've refocused their hubris to the only thing that The Weather Channel hasn't tried yet—a full-fledged attack in the greater War on Christmas. The company has a reputation for screwing up some of the smaller details (such as Hurricane Katrina hitting Tallahassee and, back on November 11, predicting that today would be sunny in Seattle), but to so boldly and wrongly attack the Ultimate American Dream of a white Christmas is beyond the pale.
According to this afternoon's post, a location has to see an inch or more of snow on the ground "in order to garner the official meteorological declaration of a white Christmas." The only problem is that there is no "official meteorological declaration of a white Christmas." The concept behind this faulty measurement is based on NOAA's widely-circulated map showing the climatological probabilities of an area seeing at least one inch of snow on December 25:
While the map shows the climatological probability that a snow depth of at least one inch will be observed on December 25, the actual conditions this year may vary widely from these probabilities because the weather patterns present will determine the snow on the ground or snowfall on Christmas day. These probabilities are useful as a guide only to show where snow on the ground is more likely.
If that's an official rule, then it makes Constitutional law look like an ironclad subject that no one can debate. Even though AccuWeather (and the "white Christmas" Wikipedia page) assert that one inch of snow is the "official" cutoff for a white Christmas, it couldn't be further from the truth. A thin dusting of snow on the ground is sufficient to consider it a white Christmas. If it shows up in pictures and can make you slide off the highway, it's enough snow.
Later next week we'll have a better idea of who will see what on the 25th. In the meantime, ignore AccuWeather and consider this your official meteorological decree, straight from The Vane: if there is snow on the ground on Christmas, it is a white Christmas.