How long have we been dreaming of a white Christmas? Has it been only since Irving Berlin’s song?
— Tony Los, Lansing
The fascination with a white Christmas has skyrocketed since Irving Berlin penned the famed song in 1940.
There is nothing absolute about the definition of a white Christmas, but the popular U.S. definition requires at least 1 inch of snow cover on Christmas Day. Measurable snow can be defined by as little as 0.1 inch, but it generally takes about an inch of snow to whiten the landscape without the ground being visible.
Chicago’s least snowy winter (9.8 inches in 1920-21) and snowiest (89.7 inches in 1978-79) both barely recorded a white Christmas, each logging the minimum 1 inch of snow cover on Christmas Day.