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I have Central American friends coming to Toronto for the holidays who’ve never seen snow

Dear Urban Decoder: I have Central American friends coming to Toronto for the holidays who’ve never seen snow. What are the chances they’ll witness a white Christmas in the city?—Helen Guttierez, North York

The soothsayers at Environment Canada put the probability of a white Christmas in Toronto this year at 57 per cent. There’s only a 13 per cent chance, however, of a “perfect Christmas,” meaning at least two centimetres of snow on the ground and the air alive with fluffy white stuff. The city’s heaviest ever yuletide dusting was only 10.4 centimetres in 1951 (Christmas ’79 also saw about 10 centimetres—of rain). In ’73, a pea-soup fog grounded aircraft (except for reindeer-powered sleds) for several days; and in 1980, Santa sweated through a 17-degree heat wave. If your visitors want to avoid such holiday anomalies, they might consider popping up to Thunder Bay or Quebec City; both burgs boast decades-long unbroken strings of white Christmases.

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