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No Dreaming Required: Boise Should Have a White Christmas

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Experts are predicting an all-time high number of travelers this season—as many as 514,000 Idahoans are expected to fill the highways and skyways through Christmas and New Year's.

Meteorologist Jay Breidenbach, of the National Weather Service in Boise, is the go-to guy when it comes to questions about whether we'll have a white Christmas.

"Let's call it 'active weather,'" Breidenbach said, perusing the radar, satellite and other gadgets that help him craft short- and long-term forecasts. "That nasty mix of snow and rain that we had early in the week? It looks like it's on its way out, and the next system that we're looking at should approach us on Christmas Eve."

Breidenbach said there were several storm systems lined up in the Pacific Ocean that could continue to dump more snow on the region to the delight of skiers and families who hope to go sledding in Camel's Back Park.

"I think we should keep a close eye on those weather systems. It's a good bet that they'll bring us more snow between Christmas and New Year's Day," said Breidenbach.

They may, but it won't be anything like in 1998, when Boise saw more than six inches of new snow fall on Christmas Day, making it Boise's snowiest Christmas ever, per NWS records dating back to 1877. The record for Boise's coldest Christmas was set in 1990, when temperatures dropped to 20-below zero.

"I don't think we'll be seeing anything on Christmas like the bitter cold weather that we saw the week before Christmas," said Breidenbach. "We've warmed up a little bit in Boise to the 20s, but it won't be as close to zero degrees as we saw a week ago."

There probably won't be any records broken, either. According to the history books, Boiseans could have been gardening instead of sledding on Dec. 25, 1885, when it was a balmy 60 degrees.

—George Prentice

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