You didn’t have to dream of a white Christmas during the 80s in Maine

Usually this blog focuses on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.

homeBut in the spirit of Christmas week, today we’re investigating Maine weather – more specifically, a phenomenon known as a white Christmas.

I’ve been dreaming of a white Christmas. Just like the ones I used to know.

home3Growing up near Bangor, I have very fond memories of my childhood Christmases – piles of presents, mountains of cookies and candy, my grandparents driving up to Maine in their green Volvo that was packed like Santa’s sleigh, all capped off with sledding (and then fighting with my brothers over time with the new Nintendo).

Weather events often seem bigger and more grand as a child, as CBS 13 Chief Meteorologist Charlie Lopresti noted in his blog last March. But did we really have snow for Christmas when I was a kid, or am I glamorizing Christmases past? Were the Maine treetops glistening as children listened to hear those sleigh bells in the snow?

With Charlie’s help and weather expertise, I set out to get some answers.

According to data from the National Weather Service, my childhood Christmas memories are as pure as a fresh blanket of snow. In fact, for an entire decade, from 1980-1989, there was snow on the ground Christmas day.

  • Christmas 1980: 8”
  • Christmas 1981: 10”
  • Christmas 1982: 5”
  • Christmas 1983: 2”
  • Christmas 1984: 2”
  • Christmas 1985: 8”
  • Christmas 1986: 2”
  • Christmas 1987: 7”
  • Christmas 1988: 10”
  • Christmas 1989: 14”

*Snow depth measurements taken December 25 at Bangor International Airport

home2“You were in a rare window with several consecutive years of snow on the ground for Christmas. Those were the golden years of snowfall in Bangor. Christmas was good. There were plenty of other years with no snow on the ground,” Charlie told me as we analyzed the data.

What are the chances* of a white Christmas in Maine?

  • Caribou: 92%
  • Bangor: 75%
  • Portland: 65%

*According to National Weather Service records

Even though this year, our Christmas will not be white, I hope for all it is still merry and bright.

Jon Chrisos

About Jon Chrisos

Award-winning journalist Jon Chrisos is the investigative and consumer reporter at CBS 13 in Portland. He also anchors weeknights at 5:30. Chrisos is “On Your Side” investigating the stories that make a difference in your life. He’s passionate about helping those who’ve been wronged, exposing government waste, asking tough questions, and uncovering the truth.