Forget a white Christmas, enjoy this year’s mild, gorgeous Christmas

Published 5:55 pm Friday, December 23, 2016

What are the chances of our having a white Christmas here in Vicksburg?

About the same as a snowball’s chance in, well, Mississippi.

Mark McAllister, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson, said Vicksburg can expect a high of around 75 on Christmas Day with partly sunny skies.

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“We have a chance of showers and a few thunderstorms, but I don’t think those will bother Vicksburg or central Mississippi,” McAllister said.

Sunday’s high will flirt with the record high, he said, which was 80 degrees, set in 1982.

“We have a chance to get near that record high,” he said.

McAllister said he doesn’t know whether Vicksburg has ever had a white Christmas.

Where would one need to travel to see the nearest white Christmas? That’s likely to be up the I-55 corridor to the Chicagoland area, or east of Chicago to southwestern lower Michigan, which is famous for its lake effect snows.

Berrien County in southwestern Michigan lies along the Lake Michigan shoreline about 80 miles east of Chicago. The city of Niles in Berrien County averages about 75 inches of snow annually.

Forecasters at warn of blizzard conditions in the northern Plains, as winter storm Europa arrives in the west. It will bring with it a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain to the Midwest into northern New England.

Heavy snow is expected to fall on Christmas Day in parts of the northern Plains and the Rockies. That storm could make travel in the west and Plains impossible on Christmas Day.