Season’s first snow showers appear this weekend across Ohio

Interstate 90, closed between North Bend and Ellensburg, causes several miles of backed-up traffic at Exit 34 in Washington, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017. (Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times via AP)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – It is that time of the year again, when Mother Nature can’t make up her mind what to bring us.  In Ohio, we can have just about anything in October from heat in the 80s and 90s to snow and cold.

This weekend our first chances of snow will be possible!

Before you get excited, this is not a snowfall you might be wishing for.  We have a sharp cold front with temperatures behind the front only in the lower 40s right now. This will drop overnight lows back into the 30s at night, and there will be plenty of cold air above us to keep snow showers close to the ground.

I do not expect much in our area more than some wet snow flakes possible overnight tonight and into the morning.

How uncommon are snow flakes in October?  

Not that uncommon, in fact the 30 year average (1981-2010) shows that we average about 1/5″ of snow in October.

Snowfall average per month (1981-2010):

  • 0.2″  October
  • 0.9″  November
  • 5.0″  December
  • 9.2″  January
  • 6.1″  February
  • 4.2″  March
  • 1.1″  April

When was the last time we had at least flurries or better in October in Columbus?

It was only a few years ago, in fact, we had 3 straight Octobers with at least flakes, and 5 years ago, we had almost a half inch of snowfall.

  • October 2014:  Trace (Flurries)
  • October 2013:  Trace (Flurries)
  • October 2012:  0.6″

In 2012, we had 3 straight days with flurries (or better) that month:

  • October 29, 2012:  Trace
  • October 30, 2012:  0.6″
  • October 31, 2012:  Trace

When was the last time we had snow flurries this early in the season (assuming we get some tonight/Saturday)?

It was only a few years ago when we had our first snowflakes falling on October 4, 2014.  It was only a trace amount of snowfall, but it was our earliest since September 29th of 1967 when we had flurries at the end of the month.

Below is a listing of our average first measurable snowfall for Columbus since 1931:

Fun trivia, 2016 was the only year two have TWO first snowfalls!  We had our first for the 15-16 season, and for the 16-17 season.

Season First Measurable Snow
1931-1932 Nov-27 (1931)
1932-1933 Dec-10 (1932)
1933-1934 Nov-08 (1933)
1934-1935 Dec-08 (1934)
1935-1936 Nov-29 (1935)
1936-1937 Nov-04 (1936)
1937-1938 Nov-18 (1937)
1938-1939 Nov-23 (1938)
1939-1940 Dec-03 (1939)
1940-1941 Nov-15 (1940)
1941-1942 Nov-09 (1941)
1942-1943 Nov-29 (1942)
1943-1944 Nov-10 (1943)
1944-1945 Dec-11 (1944)
1945-1946 Nov-22 (1945)
1946-1947 Dec-16 (1946)
1947-1948 Nov-25 (1947)
1948-1949 Dec-10 (1948)
1949-1950 Dec-08 (1949)
1950-1951 Nov-23 (1950)
1951-1952 Nov-01 (1951)
1952-1953 Nov-29 (1952)
1953-1954 Nov-07 (1953)
1954-1955 Oct-31 (1954)
1955-1956 Nov-18 (1955)
1956-1957 Nov-21 (1956)
1957-1958 Dec-03 (1957)
1958-1959 Nov-28 (1958)
1959-1960 Nov-25 (1959)
1960-1961 Nov-29 (1960)
1961-1962 Nov-19 (1961)
1962-1963 Oct-25 (1962)
1963-1964 Nov-13 (1963)
1964-1965 Nov-29 (1964)
1965-1966 Nov-28 (1965)
1966-1967 Nov-02 (1966)
1967-1968 Nov-05 (1967)
1968-1969 Nov-09 (1968)
1969-1970 Nov-13 (1969)
1970-1971 Nov-15 (1970)
1971-1972 Nov-06 (1971)
1972-1973 Nov-26 (1972)
1973-1974 Dec-10 (1973)
1974-1975 Nov-13 (1974)
1975-1976 Nov-25 (1975)
1976-1977 Nov-21 (1976)
1977-1978 Nov-26 (1977)
1978-1979 Nov-26 (1978)
1979-1980 Nov-28 (1979)
1980-1981 Nov-17 (1980)
1981-1982 Nov-21 (1981)
1982-1983 Dec-10 (1982)
1983-1984 Nov-11 (1983)
1984-1985 Nov-18 (1984)
1985-1986 Dec-02 (1985)
1986-1987 Nov-11 (1986)
1987-1988 Nov-20 (1987)
1988-1989 Nov-06 (1988)
1989-1990 Oct-19 (1989)
1990-1991 Dec-04 (1990)
1991-1992 Nov-07 (1991)
1992-1993 Nov-05 (1992)
1993-1994 Oct-30 (1993)
1994-1995 Dec-10 (1994)
1995-1996 Nov-11 (1995)
1996-1997 Nov-09 (1996)
1997-1998 Nov-04 (1997)
1998-1999 Dec-16 (1998)
1999-2000 Nov-02 (1999)
2000-2001 Nov-14 (2000)
2001-2002 Dec-24 (2001)
2002-2003 Nov-22 (2002)
2003-2004 Nov-24 (2003)
2004-2005 Nov-25 (2004)
2005-2006 Nov-23 (2005)
2006-2007 Nov-20 (2006)
2007-2008 Dec-05 (2007)
2008-2009 Nov-17 (2008)
2009-2010 Dec-18 (2009)
2010-2011 Dec-01 (2010)
2011-2012 Dec-17 (2011)
2012-2013 Oct-30 (2012)
2013-2014 Nov-11 (2013)
2014-2015 Nov-16 (2014)
2015-2016 Jan-10 (2016)
2016-2017 Dec-09 (2016)
Earliest Oct-19 (1989)
Average 21-Nov
Latest Jan-10 (2016)

If you have any questions about snow, first snowfalls, or any other weather questions, email me, dmazza@wcmh.com

Stay warm this weekend, and send any pics you have of snowflakes in!  We love to share them!

-Dave

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