A minor storm is expected to bring a frosting of white to Boulder County starting around nightfall on Christmas Eve and tapering off around sunrise Christmas morning.

“It will be just enough to make the roof slick for the reindeer,” said Boulder meteorologist Matt Kelsch.
He said the forecast calls for a range of one inch of snow in the northeastern part of the county, including Longmont, to five or six inches in Nederland and the foothills. Boulder could get three to five inches, he said.

Since 1980, he said, there's been about a 60 percent chance that there will be snow on the ground on Christmas in Boulder, though only about a 30 percent chance that snow will fall that day. There's been about a 50 percent chance that snow falls on either Christmas Eve or Christmas.

For Monday night, the National Weather Service put the chance of snow at 70 percent. Christmas morning, it drops to 30 percent. Christmas Day is expected to be partly sunny and cold, with a high around 24 degrees.

The most snow ever recorded on the ground in the Denver area on Christmas Day was 24 inches following the Christmas Eve blizzard of 1982.

Out of the last six Christmases, there was at least one inch of snow on the ground in the Denver area on five of them — qualifying as a white Christmas. Last year, a storm a few days before Christmas brought eight to 12 inches, while three inches were measured on the ground on Christmas Day.

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This year's expected Christmas snow will come after an unusually dry fall for Boulder.

Boulder has recorded just 4.8 inches so far in November and only .6 of an inch in November. The most snowfall came early, in October, which saw about eight inches.