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Denver's chances for a white Christmas in 2015

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Posted at 10:37 PM, Dec 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-23 19:39:48-05

Parts of Colorado will have a whiteout Christmas.

Heavy snow began pounding the mountains earlier this week. Steamboat counted 4 feet by Wednesday afternoon, which accumulated in about a week. Crested Butte has had 2 feet, while most of the resorts have tallied at least 12-18 inches of new snow.  

Moisture continues in the high country for the next 48 hours with a new surge from the West Coast. It'll fall heavy on Christmas.

Latest full forecast here

Flakes have been limited on the Eastern Plains. Our best chance for Denver snow now is Christmas Day. We'll pick up 1 to 3 inches of of dry, fluffy powder.

Temperatures will be cool. Highs on Christmas Eve will reach the mid-30s and hover right around the freezing mark on Christmas Day.

If you remember, several inches of snow came down in Denver last year. The day started dry but by midnight, 3.4 inches fell at the airport. Up to 10 inches fell closer to Boulder.

According to the National Weather Service, Denver has only a 38 percent chance of a white Christmas if you go by 1 inch or more of snow on the ground in total. However, if you want at least .1 inches or more to fall right on Christmas Day, there's only a 14 percent chance for that. We've only gotten measurable snowfall on Christmas Day six times over the last 30 years.

The most snow ever recorded on the ground in Denver on Christmas Day was 24 inches which was measured after the Christmas Eve blizzard of 1982.  Other significant Christmas snow depths:

5 Greatest Snow Depths on Christmas since 1900

1982:  24"
1913:  19"
2006:  15"
1973:  12"
1918:  11"

The heaviest snowfall on Christmas Day was 7.8 inches which occurred in 2007.  Other significant Christmas snowfalls:

5 Greatest Snowfalls on Christmas since 1882

2007:  7.8"
1894:  6.4"
2014:  3.4"
1912:  1.7"
1941:  1.5"