Will Rifle Have a Wet or White Christmas?
Rifle residents may hear Bing Crosby’s rendition of “White Christmas” this holiday season. However, whether or not they will actually see a white Christmas on Dec. 25 remains up in the air.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the city of Rifle has a 49% chance of seeing a White Christmas this year.
That percentage reflects U.S. climate normals between 1981 and 2010.
Technically, the National Weather Service defines a white Christmas as having at least an inch of snow on the ground – regardless of whether or not it actually snows on Christmas Day.
Past Christmas Weather In Rifle
2016: .14 inches of rain with only a trace of snow. High of 37 degrees and a low of 27 degrees.
2017: 1/2 inch of snow fell with 2 inches already on the ground. High of 35 degrees and a low of 19 degrees.
2018: 1 inch of snow fell with 3 inches already on the ground. High of 37 degrees and a low of 13 degrees.
The National Weather Service in Grand Junction did not have similar data for the nearby communities of Parachute and Silt.
White or Wet?
Although still a few days away, Meteorologist Thomas Renwick thought Rifle’s 2019 Christmas weather may produce rain instead of snow.
According to Renwick, the extended forecast showed Rifle and Western Garfield County having nice weather through Christmas Eve.
“Right now the models are saying that on midnight Christmas Eve, moisture is going to move into the [Rifle] area,” Renwick said.
The weather system moving in early Christmas morning will bring plenty of moisture from the Pacific, however warm southwesterly winds also in the area may prevent snow and instead produce rain Renwick said.
As of Wednesday morning, weather.com was forecasting a high of 41 degrees and a low of 26 degrees on Christmas Day in Rifle and a 40 percent chance of precipitation.
“The mountains above [Rifle] will have snow on them, but in town itself, I think it’s going to be a tough call,” Renwick said.
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