Nothing beats waking up Christmas morning to find a fresh blanket of snow outside. But if you're dreaming of a white Christmas this year, you'll likely be disappointed.
The Weather Channel is forecasting that much of the United States won't have snow for Christmas, according to a USA Today story. Here are a few facts from the story about this season's snowfall:
Less than a quarter of the nation was covered by snow Sunday. Last Christmas, half of the nation was covered. Two years ago, 63 percent was covered with snow.
Meteorologists are predicting the coldest areas of the country will be in the Southwest and and South Central United States. In fact, Little Rock, Ark., has been snowier than Syracuse, N.Y., this year.
The definition of a white Christmas is that 1 inch of snow is on the ground on Christmas Day, according to the National Weather Service. So, snow doesn't have to fall on Christmas Day for an official white Christmas.
Here are a few ideas to localize the story:
YOUR WEATHER EXPERTS: Check with meteorologists in your area to see if they predict snow for you. Ask for data from the past 10 Christmases to see if you usually have a white Christmas. Look for opportunities to do a By the Numbers alternative story format highlighting temperatures, inches of snow and even how much money your town budgets for snow removal.
MEMORIES OF WHITE CHRISTMAS: Ask people who clear snow for their memories of the biggest Christmas snow. You can also do a quick reader callout to ask for people to send photos or memories of Christmas snow.
CHILDREN'S THOUGHTS: If school is still in session this week, see if you can work with teachers to ask young children what Santa does when there isn't snow on Christmas. Run as many responses as you can in the paper, and be sure to collect the rest and run them online with names.