The winter lull between hurricane and tornado seasons can be difficult to generate weather-related headlines with if you’re not located in the Northeast. Thankfully the allure of a white Christmas provides instant fuel to the hype machine involving any remote chance of snowfall. While some weather experts still inexplicably shy away from irresponsible wishcasting, we recommend that all meteorologists predict a white Christmas for their respective forecast regions every single year. Any failed prediction of yours will just be seen as a run of the mill busted forecast by the public that you just spent an entire month milking for those precious clicks. That’s right, a month. While it’s not too late now to start predicting those festive flurries, a seasoned professional begins the process of forecasting a white Christmas the moment they finish stuffing pumpkin pie into their pie-hole after their Thanksgiving dinner.  Here’s the full process.

Step 1. Black Friday 

While a month before Christmas is too soon to show any deterministic outlook, those bloodthirsty constituents of yours will latch onto any inkling of a white Christmas as hard as they latch onto the last Xbox at Walmart that day. This is when you plant the seed by reminding them of the last White Christmas in your area, or better yet, hit them with those beautiful probabilistic maps.

This map shows that your location gets a white Christmas x% of years. Your region is either overdue, or your recent hot streak of white Christmases is the new normal thanks to climate change. Probably.

Step 2. December 1st

It’s the first day of meteorological winter, and that means it’s time to bust out those interactive Climate Prediction Center maps! Oh wow, looks like the CPC is showing a cool and wet December for your region. White Christmas is happening! Lock. It. In. Oh no, warm and dry conditions are expected for your region this year? That’s okay. 1966 was a particularly warm and dry December, but you still got a white Christmas then. “Analog forecasting” is a big fancy term those in your region will respect you for using even though it literally means “I remember shit that you don’t.”

Step 3. December 10th

Two weeks before Christmas Eve is when the real fun begins because now we’ve entered model snow map territory. The 336-hr GFS shows a foot of snow for your area on Christmas Eve, and you’re about the have the most viral Facebook post on this side of the Mississippi. Unfortunately someone on the other side of the country shared a map with 2 feet of Christmas Eve snowfall, but you’re still happy with your newly acquired fame, even if it is technically second place. Oh wait, you’re telling me the GFS isn’t showing a white Christmas for your area? That’s fine. Just wait for the next model run in 6 hours.

Step 4. December 17th

Christmas Eve is only a week away, and no matter how many times you refresh your browser, the models just aren’t depicting those delicious dendrites anymore. BUT THEY’RE JUST DUMB MODELS AND A LOT CAN CHANGE IN A WEEK DAMMIT.

Step 5. December 23rd 

White Christmases are overrated anyway. I mean, I guess the snowfall is pretty while it’s happening, but then it quickly turns into a disgusting brown slush and lingers for entirely too long. And talk about a logistical nightmare, right? The busiest travel week of the year is no time for the roadways to be smothered in sludge. Your public is better off without the snow, but they should thank you anyway for having kept them prepared just in case.

“Is it tornado season yet?” you whisper to yourself as you pull the burnt ham from the oven while your entire family glares at you with their ever too familiar faces of disappointment. Thankfully that disappointment from your family, as well as from the public, fades away quickly. You’ll be able to pull the same forecasting stunt next year because you recall the golden rule of weather prediction: The public never remembers anything you say unless you interrupt their favorite TV shows.