(STATE COLLEGE, Pa.) -- With an enormous winter storm bearing down on the plains, it looks like Accuweather.com's long-range holiday forecast prediction will come true, and millions of Americans won't be just dreaming of a white Christmas, they'll be living it.
"I feel from the plains eastward, more people than normal will have a white Christmas," said senior meteorologist Joe Bastardi, Accuweather's chief long-range forecaster.
At the beginning of December, Bastardi said he was predicting snowstorms that would dump snow on the eastern half of the United States later in the month. He predicted temperatures would remain cold enough to keep the while stuff around until Christmas.
Sounds eerily familiar to when an enormous blizzard, dubbed "Snomageddon," dumped several feet of snow on the Northeast last year.
Typically a quarter to a third of the United States is blanketed with white over the Christmas holiday, but Bastardi predicted about half of the country will see snow. For the most part, he will be right.
Weathermen -- and bookies -- are even betting that England, which has had unusually early cold and snowy weather already this year, will have a winter wonderland on Christmas Day.
"As it stands, this year we've got the shortest prices we've ever had, the most number of bets we've ever had," said Rupert Adams of William Hill, a British sports betting website. "It's literally a wild kingdom at the moment. Over 10,000 bets on whether it will be a white Christmas in the U.K."
Long range forecasting is a huge business and everyone from big company executives to farmers and even brides trying to plan their weddings months out are among those buying three million copies a year of "The Old Farmer's Almanac." It's been predicting the weather for 219 years.
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