White Christmas in Philadelphia? Here’s just how rare an occurrence that is

Plenty of people across the Delaware Valley are crossing their fingers and hoping for our first white Christmas in over a decade. 

While it’s fun to imagine, Philadelphia has rarely seen snowfall on Christmas over the last 70 years, according to the National Weather Service.

NWS Mount Holly shared a graphic on social media Friday morning breaking down the last 70 Christmas days in Philadelphia into four categories: No snow on the ground and no new snow, no snow on the ground but new snowfall, 1-3 inches in snow depth, and over 3 inches in snow depth. 

As it stands, Philadelphia is currently in the middle of one of the largest Christmas day dry stretches during that span. The last time the area saw any snow on Christmas day was in 2009, when more than 3 inches fell. 

The longest stretch with no snowfall lasted from 1977 through 1992, with some new snowfall breaking the streak in 1993. 

In all, there has been no snow on Christmas day in Philadelphia for 57 of the last 70 years. 

There have been five years of new snowfall with no snow on the ground, and five years when the area saw 1-3 inches on the ground.

Only three times in the last 70 years has Philadelphia seen more than three inches of snow on the ground on Christmas Day. 

This year in their 2022-2023 Winter Outlook, the FOX 29 Weather Authority estimated there would only be about a 30% chance the Delaware Valley would see snow-covered ground on Christmas this year.