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A white Christmas looks like a safe bet this time around, unlike most years of late

Dave Phillips is willing to bet a couple bucks that we’ll see a white Christmas in Waterloo Region this year.

The Environment Canada senior meteorologist says normally he wouldn’t be as confident as he is now, but there is already snow on the ground, the temperature has dropped, and all predictions are showing colder-than-normal temperatures leading up to the big day.

While we may get a shot of rain here or there, it’s more likely we’ll look outside to see the white stuff.

“I’ve never seen a possibility of a white Christmas so far in advance in southern Ontario,” he said.

In the last five years there’s only been one white Christmas in Waterloo Region, which was in 2013 when there was eight centimetres of snow on the ground Christmas morning. The last two years haven’t produced a white Christmas, and neither did the two years previous to 2013.

“One white Christmas in the last five years is not something that would please a lot of people. People who even hate snow like Christmas with snow, at least on the ground,” he said.

Last year’s weather saw temperatures around 12 or 13 degrees and rain. He says that’s even too warm for a Vancouver Christmas.

He notes a lot can happen in the next few days and it’s not an easy call. If Christmas was one month later there would be a much higher probability of a white Christmas. But all signs are pointing in the right direction with 20 centimetres on the ground now. He says all it takes to have a white Christmas is two centimetres.

“I’ve seen 20 centimetres on the 22nd of December and it all disappeared. It’s not something that you’d bet the family farm on, but when we look at the conditions from now until Christmas to the weekend leading up to Christmas we see some cold temperatures, some of the coldest of the winter. We see only snow in the forecast, flurries, not something that will bury us, but something that will freshen the snow pack, clean it up and just add to the total,” he said.

Last Saturday we saw a high of one degree. The high didn’t last long enough for any significant melting though. Normal highs this time of year in Elmira should be a high of minus-1 in the afternoon and a low of minus-8 in the early morning. He notes up until Saturday of last week the temperature were six or seven degrees colder than normal.

Temperatures began to warm up this week but aren’t expected to go above the freezing mark. From the first day of winter, Dec. 21 to Christmas, the minimum temperatures are below freezing, and the daytime highs are around zero or one degree.

“So I would bet a few loonies on the fact that this year unlike the last two years will be a white Christmas for really across southern and central and eastern Ontario.”

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