First Snowflakes of the Season Possible

Posted at: 10/17/2013 5:54 PM
Updated at: 10/20/2013 7:43 PM

Not too much has changed since the last blog post.  We're still expecting a big cooldown, likely our first, widespread, hard freeze and the first snowflakes of the year.  Just the timing of these things has slowed a tad.  Friday no longer appears to be the day to see these things, it more so kicks off this weekend.

A series of relatively minor disturbances will descend from Canada along with this cold push of air.  Shown here...  With each passing disturbance, cooler temperatures throughout the atmosphere will be in tandem.  And the overnights look to be cool enough to support some snowflakes mixing in, especially as we get into next week.

This four panel image shows each day Saturday-Tuesday at 7am.  This series of images shows how cool the atmosphere will be at that given time.  If we're north of all the lines, the air will be sufficiently cool to support snowflakes between different levels of the atmosphere.  The yellow colored line we'll be watching closely measures how cool the air in the closest 4k feet to the surface.  North of this line, any precipitation that may be falling at that particular time will likely melt at this timeframe, but south, it will likely survive to the surface.

With precipitation expected on Saturday/Monday/Tuesday mornings, looking at the image above, you can deduce that the most likely of mornings of seeing snowflakes form would be Monday and Tuesday mornings next week.  However we may squeak one out Saturday morning too.  Sunday morning is too warm, plus it looks dry at that timeframe too.

October snow isn't rare.  We average 0.8" any given year.  In 2009, 7.9" fell setting a monthly record for October. 

While a few snowflakes may try to mix in, the predominant precipitation type will be rain.  Even then, amounts aren't that daunting.  Over the next five days, we're only looking about 0.25" of precipitation.  Most of it looks to come on Monday.

All signs are pointing to a growing season-ending freeze for Sunday morning as temperatures take the plunge into the upper 20s.  If for some reason we miss the mark, you don't get much more time to coax your garden on.  Most every morning next week will be spent below freezing, coldest on Tuesday morning.    Normally the first freeze occurs in the first week of October, so it's all been bonus time in the garden.  Here's the 7-Day.  And remember, it isn't that daunting. (But those icons do look rather bold don't they?!)

Looking in the long term, days 8-14, our cool Canadian pattern looks to continue setting the stage for below normal temperatures.

As for precipitation in that stretch, no major storm systems, but likely we'll have to deal with some minor disturbances, very similar to what we have in the short term.

Storm Tracker 6 Chief Meteorologist
Chris Kuball