If you're dreaming of a white Christmas, forget the North Pole and head to Pinkham Notch, N.H., a picturesque town tucked in a glacier-carved pass in the shadow of Mount Washington.
According to the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell, there's a 95 percent probability of at least 1 inch of snow on the ground in Pinkham Notch come Dec. 25. That tops the list of likely Christmas snow locations released today by the center, besting even North Pole, N.Y., which pales with a relatively modest 72 percent probability of snow.
Hate the white stuff? Then head for the boardwalk. Atlantic City, N.J., trails all major Northeast cities with a mere 9 percent probability of snow outside while the presents are being opened.
The data is compiled by Cornell's Climate Center using weather records spanning five decades -- from 1960 through 2009 -- to determine the probabilities.
Rounding out the likely top five snowiest places: Booneville, N.Y. (94 percent probability), Old Forge, N.Y., (92), Caribou, Maine, (92) and St. Johnsbury, Vt. (89).
Joining Atlantic City as the least likely snowbound destinations are Philadelphia (12 percent probability), Washington, D.C., (12), Baltimore (14) and New York City (14).
Other notable entries on the Climate Center's Christmas snow list:
- Syracuse tops upstate New York's major cities with a 68 percent probability of snow, besting Binghamton (64), Buffalo (62), Ithaca (60), Rochester (58) and Albany (52).
- Norfork leads Connecticut cities with a 79 percent probability of snow, topping Hartford (50) and Bridgeport (27).
- Massachusetts's top entry on the list, Ashburnham (74 percent probability) easily outdistances Bay State runner-up Boston (22).
- Erie, Pa., takes the Keystone State crown with a 57 percent probability of snow, topping Williamsport (40) and Pittsburg (34).
For a complete list of Christmas Day snow probabilities, go to the Northeast Regional Climate Center website at http://www.nrcc.cornell.edu.