This year, Boise’s first measurable snowfall of the season showed up later than normal. If you were one of the folks who got excited when the flakes finally started to fly, you’re probably dreaming of a White Christmas! 

Our first winter storm of the season brought 2.7 inches of snow from Thursday, November 30 through the early morning hours of Saturday, December 2. That snow did a doozy on the morning commute! The Ada County Sheriff’s office said they received reports of 59 crashes and 22 slide-offs from midnight that Thursday through 11 a.m. on Friday. 

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But for those of us who work from home or otherwise managed to avoid having to be part of that messy commute, it was pretty peaceful and serene watching those big fluffy flakes. It certainly made things feel more like the Christmas season. 

Photo by Evie Fjord on Unsplash
Photo by Evie Fjord on Unsplash
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So what are the chances of getting a repeat on actual Christmas? Unfortunately, not great. The National Weather Service says that to be considered a “White Christmas” by their standards, there must be at least an inch of snow on the ground at the present-day Boise Airport at 5 a.m. It’s a statistic they’ve been tracking since 1939 and it’s only happened 25 times since, which means that Boise has about 29.7% of it happening again in 2023.

Maybe you don’t define a “White Christmas” the same way that the National Weather Service. You’re no meteorologist, so if flakes are flying and accumulating on December 25, that’s good enough for you. We respect that, but the chances of that happening are worse than there being snow on the ground at the airport. It’s happened just 17 times. That means the probability of it happening in 2023 is about 20.4%.

Photo by Jeffrey Blum on Unsplash
Photo by Jeffrey Blum on Unsplash
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Does that mean you should pout every time you hear Bing Crosby start to croon “White Christmas?” Absolutely not. 2016 (the year of Snowpocalypse) wasn’t listed as a White Christmas on the NOAA website’s statistics but 9” of snow DUMPED on Boise on Christmas Day. That’s good enough for us! 

If there’s one thing we know about Boise, it’s that the weather is unpredictable and any forecast models looking at Christmas Day are too long-range to take seriously. Kody Wilson at Treasure Valley Weather HQ has posted on his Facebook page before that “Anything predicted past 10 days is hot garbage.”

KEEP READING: 10 Extreme Winter Weather Records Boise Could Break in 2023

For many of us Snowmageddon 2016-2017 is a not so distant memory. Some people really miss seeing that much white stuff in Boise. Others dread the possibility of it happening again. How common is it? We dug into some historical weather data from the National Weather Service to see just how extreme it was compared to some of the other winter extremes Boise's experienced.

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

Boise's First Snowfall Date Over the Past Decade

Stats based on data from the National Weather Service. In order to be considered the date of the first snowfall, Boise needed to receive at least .1" of snow.

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

What Idaho Roads Are The WORST In The Snow?

Gallery Credit: Marco

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