PARKERSBURG - While Friday's snow may have raised some expectations for a White Christmas tomorrow, it will not happen this year.
According to the National Weather Service in Charleston, an inch or more of snow on the ground on Christmas Day is a rarity in West Virginia and the Mid-Ohio Valley. Weather service records dating back to the 1800s show a small number Christmas mornings have been a White Christmas.
According to the weather service, at elevations of less than 2,000 feet above sea level, past Christmas mornings have been white only 20 percent of the time. Another way to say it for every 10 Christmas mornings, two have had snow on the ground by dawn.
For Parkersburg, the last three White Christmases were in 1989, 1993 and 2010, the first White Christmas in 17 years.
For those living in elevations of 3,000 feet or more, the chance of a White Christmas increases to six out of 10. According to the weather service the most snow on the ground in Christmas morning was five inches in 1963
Christmas temperatures vary greatly in the region. Weather service records show that the warmest Christmas on record in 1982 was followed in 1983 by the coldest Christmas on record.
In 1982 Charleston and Huntington recorded high temperatures of 76 degrees while Parkersburg's temperature was 70 degrees. Parkersburg had a nighttime low of 58 degrees.
A year later the temperatures were vastly different. For the nighttime low on Christmas Day, the temperature dipped down to minus 10 degrees and the daytime high was 4 degrees on the plus side.
According to forecasts, Christmas 2012 will be without snow with a high of 45 with for today and a low of 40 with a chance of rain and snow and clear on Christmas Day with a high of 40.
Snow showers are in the forecast for Wednesday night through Saturday with highs ranging from 29 to 36 degrees and lows in the teens.