When Do We "Typically" See The First Snow Of the Season?

Although SNOW IS STILL NOT EXPECTED ANYTIME SOON within the 30-county NWS Hastings coverage area, whether you like it or not we are now within 2-4 weeks of the average first measurable snow of the season in the local area. The information below addresses what many folks might be wondering this time of the year: What are the "typical" first dates that South Central Nebraska and North Central Kansas can expect measurable snow (defined as at least one-tenth of an inch)?

Listed in the table below are average "first snowfall" dates for various locations across the local area based on the last 30 seasons of data (1984-2013) from NWS Cooperative Observers. Of course, one must keep in mind that these are only averages, and yearly variations between first snowfall dates can be quite significant! For example, in Grand Island, the first occurrence of measurable snow during the past 30 years has ranged anywhere from Sep. 20 (in 1995), to Dec. 31 (in 2010). 

Last year during the 2013-2014 snowfall season, the majority of the local area received its first measurable snow on either Nov. 21st or Dec. 7th, which for most places was slightly later than average.

AVERAGE "First Snowfall" Dates Across The Area (1984-2013)
  Grand Island Hastings Kearney    Ord     Holdrege Hebron Smith Center KS Plainville KS Beloit KS
0.1 Inch or More
(in 24 hours)
Nov. 9 Nov. 13 Nov. 17 Nov. 10 Nov. 17 Nov. 16 Nov. 25 Nov. 24 Dec. 6
1" or More
(in 24 hours)
Nov. 20 Nov. 22 Nov. 22 Nov. 13 Nov. 26 Nov. 26 Dec. 10 Dec. 9 Dec. 9
2" or More
(in 24 hours)
Dec. 4 Dec. 9 Dec. 5 Nov. 14 Dec. 7 Dec. 2 Dec. 15 Dec. 24 Dec. 16


The two graphics below also help to "set the stage" for the upcoming snowfall season within both the region and the local area (click images to enlarge):

  • The image on the left depicts the median date of the first measurable snow (0.1" or more) across the entire north central United States (courtesy of the Midwestern Regional Climate Center) 
  • The image on the right depicts "normal" seasonal snowfall across the local area based on official 30-year normals from 1981-2010. For a recap of last snow season (fall 2013-spring 2014) please refer to this story. 


This page was composed by the staff at the National Weather Service in Hastings, Nebraska.

 Last updated/finalized for the 2014-2015 season on: 10/28/14

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