Not white, but warm Christmas forecast in trend that may last the holiday season

New Year's forecast too far out, but it may be warm and dry too, meteorologist says

Megan Petersen
Farmington Daily Times
The temperature on the Shiprock Chapter's sign reads 41 degrees on Friday afternoon under a clear sky. The National Weather Service says there is little chance of a white Christmas this year in San Juan County.
  • Farmington has a 7 percent chance of having a white Christmas based on historical trends, NOAA says.
  • Durango's forecast calls for relatively warm and dry weather, too.
  • This winter has been unusually warm and day so far, a meteorologist says.

FARMINGTON — The Four Corners region likely will not have a white Christmas this year — in fact, Monday is forecast to be about 10 degrees warmer than normal, according to a National Weather Service official.

“Initially, a few days ago or maybe a week ago, it did look like there could be some snow around Christmas — Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but not anymore,” NWS meteorologist Annette Mokry said on Thursday. “The forecast models have finally come into agreement that through Monday or Tuesday that it’s going to be dry and that temperatures may be up and down a little bit. … Unless you’re making snow, Mother Nature is not going to be making any for you.”

Daytime temperatures over the holiday weekend will be a few degrees warmer than normal for this time of year, Mokry said. Today likely will see high temperatures in the middle to high 40s, and Monday’s temperature likely will jump into the lower to middle 50s.

Night-time temperatures, however, are expected to be on the colder end of the normal trends, Mokry said. Tonight’s low temperature is forecast to be 15 degrees, and lows throughout the week are expected to be between 15 degrees and 25 degrees.

As for the New Year’s Day weekend, Mokry said the forecast is unclear. But this winter is turning out to be an unseasonably warm and dry season, and that holiday might be dry, as well, she said.

“I could tell you something, but it probably would not be a very good forecast, and that’s just because more than about three to four days out, the forecast models have not been very good,” Mokry said. “They’ve been flip flopping back and forth. There could be something that happens around New Year’s, but it might just be dry."

Though conditions have been warmer and drier than normal, the lack of a white Christmas is not new for San Juan County. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's "Historical Probability of a White Christmas" map, the probability of local communities having at least an inch of snow on Dec. 25 comes to less than one in 10 Christmases.

Fruitland has a 3 percent chance of a having a White Christmas, while Navajo Dam and Bloomfield have 4 percent and 6 percent chances, respectively. New Mexico State University’s Agricultural Science Center near Farmington has the highest local probability with a 7 percent chance, according to the map.

Snow seekers may have better luck over the Colorado border — the Fort Lewis College campus in Durango has a 79 percent chance of having at least an inch of snow on Christmas, but historical trends may be bucked this year. Durango’s forecast calls for mostly sunny days with highs in the 40s and 50s, with cold, partly cloudy and clear nights with temperatures in the high teens, according to the NWS.

Megan Petersen covers business and education for The Daily Times. Reach her at 505-564-4621 or