Perspective On The First Snow Of The Fall/Winter In Cincinnati

Since summer ended, snowflakes have yet to fall in Cincinnati this season. Despite what you may may think, it is unusual to make it this far into the fall without at least flurries. In the last 100 years, there have only been 31 years where the first snowflakes of the fall or winter fell after November 16th (today’s date). Accumulating snow, however, does not usually occur in Cincinnati before November 16th; in the last 145 years, the first day with accumulating snowfall came before November 16th roughly 34% of the time (49 of those years).

Some computer guidance suggests flurries will mix with rain this weekend. I am intentionally vague on the timing because this morning’s GFS model paints rain showers with some flurries Saturday morning and afternoon in the Ohio Valley, while this morning’s ECMWF model is suggests a better chance for flurries Saturday afternoon and evening. Notice the potential for accumulating snow of 1″+ for parts of the Great Lakes and northern Ohio Valley this weekend:


As I highlighted above, we are due for our first snowfall of the season. From 1915 through 2014, the first date of the fall or winter with ANY snow (whether it accumulated or not) is November 9th on average. The first flakes of the season have fallen as early as October 12th and as late as December 17th:


Since 1870-1871, there has never been a winter without measurable snowfall or flurries in Cincinnati.

The first day with accumulating snow during the fall or winter in Cincinnati, on average, is in late November:


5″ of snow fell on October 19, 1989, the earliest day of the fall on record were accumulating snow occurred in Cincinnati. Meanwhile, the first day with accumulating snow during the winter of 1908-1909 came on January 12, 1909 (when 6.8″ was recorded). On average and based on records from 1870 through 2014, 1.3″ of snow accumulates on the first day of the fall or winter with accumulating snow.

On average, the first day of the fall or winter in Cincinnati with 1″ or more accumulating snowfall is December 15th. As you saw above, 5″ of snow fell as early as October 19, 1989 in the Queen City. The latest in the fall or winter where 1″+ of snowfall accumulated was March 5, 2015…just 3 days after the deadliest severe weather day in the Tri-State since official records began in 1950.

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