ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Take a drive around your neighborhood and you will see all the lovely holiday lights and scores of decorative inflatables that speckle the lawns. It is the Christmas season, for sure.

At this time of year, the WFXR Pinpoint Weather Team has to answer this very important question: will we have a White Christmas?

The statistics are against it, but many folks remain hopeful.

There are two ways to define a “White Christmas”:

  • If there is snow falling from the sky and it accumulates to more than an inch, or
  • If there is at least one inch of snow on the ground from a previous snow event

How many times have we had snow falling on Christmas? According to records dating back to 1912, this has only occurred seven times in Roanoke. However, we have had snow on the ground that is more than one inch deep 15 times in the past.

The last White Christmas in Roanoke happened in 2020. We had an inch of snow already on the ground, but we also had 0.5″ of snow fall from the sky. The last White Christmas before 2020 happened in 2010.

The most snow that fell on that Christmas Day in Roanoke occurred in 1969. More than a foot of snow⁠—14.6″ of snow, to be exact⁠—was recorded in the Star City.

So, what are the odds of Roanoke seeing a White Christmas? According to the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), the historic probability of a White Christmas is 9%. In comparison, Blacksburg has a 16% chance of seeing a White Christmas while Snowshoe, WV has a 60% chance.

If you are looking for a White Christmas, the odds are not in your favor. However, you never know here in Southwest Virginia.

Did you know Roanoke recently had its warmest Christmas on record?

In 2021, Roanoke reached a record-high temperature of 69° on Christmas Day. This beat out the previous record of 68°, which was set back in 1982 and 1964.