I’m still dreaming of snow

Published 1:14 pm Friday, December 24, 2010

Whatever you might have found under the tree when you got up this morning, if you’re reading this from somewhere in Suffolk or the surrounding area, one thing you didn’t find was snow.

I’m sorry if you’re disappointed, but really you should have gotten past this vain hope that has haunted your Decembers ever since you first heard Bing Crosby croon about treetops glistening and children listening for sleigh bells in the snow.

This is, after all, Southeast Virginia.

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We get snow — sometimes even lots of it at once. But if you’ve been dreaming of a white Christmas, you’ve been dreaming of visiting some other place for the holiday. Or you’ve been doing something that would land you on Santa’s Naughty List.

According to meteorologists at the National Weather Service’s Wakefield station, there are only five recorded instances of Christmas snowfall that accumulated in Hampton Roads.

And the last time all the conditions came together to produce an accumulation of Christmas Day snow in this part of Virginia was way back in 1948, when we got a little less than half an inch.

My mother was 4 at the time. I’m sure she thought it was wonderful. My own memory of it is, of course, a bit hazy.

Several years ago, we got a couple of inches of snow the day after Christmas. Since we don’t celebrate Boxing Day here, I’ve decided to consider that year my white Christmas. I got to play outside with the grandchildren, my wife and the dog, and I can always pretend that the digital time stamps on all the photos actually read Dec. 25 and not Dec. 26.

Either way, there were no sleigh bells.

We might all be tantalized by flurries later today, but the forecasters in Wakefield were repeatedly clear that we could expect no accumulation of snow today.

The real chance of snow will come tomorrow, when a perfect alignment of potential conditions could bring us four to six inches of snow, according to the folks in Wakefield.

I resisted the urge to ask whether the Christmas Day snow would be a day late because it had gotten stuck in Hampton Roads traffic — Santa puts smart-alecky newspaper editors on his Naughty List.

So tomorrow’s expected snow is as close as you’ll get this year to celebrating that hard-to-catch Hampton Roads white Christmas.

Next year, you might try Christmas in Minnesota. Watch out for the moose. Meanwhile, keep dreaming.