No Need To Dream: It's A White Christmas

A last-minute shopper carrying a bright present braves the weather on Christmas Eve, in Omaha, Neb. i i

A last-minute shopper braves the weather on Christmas Eve, in Omaha, Neb. Nati Harnik/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Nati Harnik/AP
A last-minute shopper carrying a bright present braves the weather on Christmas Eve, in Omaha, Neb.

A last-minute shopper braves the weather on Christmas Eve, in Omaha, Neb.

Nati Harnik/AP

If you've been channeling Bing Crosby and pining for a "White Christmas," chances are you've got it.

In all, 58.3 percent of the nation is covered with snow, according to the National Weather Service. Just three weeks ago, only 11 percent of the ground was snow-covered.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has a nifty animated map showing the spread of the snow cover.

Credit, or blame, the big storms of recent weeks in the East, Midwest and West, which have piled the white stuff pretty deep in some places. The Northern Rockies have the deepest snow, as much as 10 feet.

But more of the Upper Midwest is covered than any other region — 99.7 percent.

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There's so much snow this Christmas that only five southern states (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas) have no snow at all, according to maps provided by the National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center.

A few more states (Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Georgia) have just a touch of snow. Even Hawaii has had snow already, with a dusting last month atop Mauna Kea, the 13,796 foot dormant volcano on the Big Island.

The regions of the Alleghenies, Northeast, Great Lakes and Rocky Mountains all join the Upper Midwest with more than 90 percent snow cover.

The single greatest snow depth, according to NOHRSC, is 892.2 inches somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. We couldn't actually find a place in the region that actually has that much snow and the NOHRSC staff was already gone Christmas Eve by the time we began to explore the nation's snow cover. So, we're not sure if that's a misprint.

But the average snow depth nationwide is 4.4 inches. Barely enough for Santa's sleigh, but plenty for snowball fights, snowmen and a dreamy white Christmas.

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