Map shows likelihood of a ‘White Christmas’ in different parts of Maine

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If you live in Houlton, which last week received 8 inches of snowfall, a map like the one above is an obvious formality.

But for much of the rest of the state, it may be interesting to see, based on historical averages, what the odds are that you’ll get what the famous carol described as a “White Christmas.”

As you can see, while people in northwestern Maine take it for granted, white Christmases are actually pretty rare nationwide.

Even along coastal Maine, there’s only about a 50-50 chance there will be at least an inch of snow on the ground come Dec. 25.

The information in this map comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s latest Climate Normals, made up of weather averages — precipitation and temperature numbers, for instance — over the three-decade period from 1981-2010.

So during that 30-year stretch, Fort Kent, on the border with Canada, had at least an inch of snow on the ground by Christmas day at least nine out of every 10 years, whereas Kittery, on the border with New Hampshire, had measurable Christmas snow only five or six out of every 10 years.