Dates of First Snowfall of at least 6 Inches in Wisconsin & Milwaukee-Madison Area

Looking back into the weather history books, we pulled out the dates of the first snowfalls of 6 inches or more in at least one county in Wisconsin, and in at least one county in the corridor stretching from Madison to Milwaukee.  We considered either lake-effect snow or system snow, or a combination of both.  Interestingly, there is a wide variation from winter season to winter season.

On average, the first snowfall of at least 6 inches or more anywhere in Wisconsin occurs on November 14.  In the Madison to Milwaukee area, the average date of the first 6-inch snowfall is December 28.

Below are the dates going back to the 1980-81 winter season.  The vast majority of the cases shown actually spanned two dates.  Only the first of two dates is shown.  The table does not imply that both Madison and Milwaukee had 6 inch snowfalls on the dates given - the 6 inch or greater snowfall occurred somewhere in the Madison to Milwaukee area.

Winter Season

1st 6"+ WI Snowfall

1st 6"+ MKE-MSN Snowfall

1980-81

9-Feb

9-Feb

1981-82

18-Nov

3-Jan

1982-83

19-Oct

1-Feb

1983-84

23-Nov

13-Dec

1984-85

1-Dec

26-Dec

1985-86

8-Nov

8-Nov

1986-87

29-Jan

29-Jan

1987-88

14-Dec

14-Dec

1988-99

5-Nov

2-Mar

1989-00

19-Oct

19-Oct

1990-91

10-Oct

2-Dec

1991-92

31-Oct

2-Dec

1992-93

1-Nov

9-Dec

1993-94

4-Nov

28-Nov

1994-95

27-Nov

6-Dec

1995-96

22-Sep

10-Nov

1996-97

9-Nov

9-Jan

1997-98

4-Dec

8-Jan

1998-99

15-Nov

2-Jan

1999-00

23-Nov

18-Feb

2000-01

6-Oct

11-Dec

2001-02

25-Oct

1-Mar

2002-03

20-Oct

4-Mar

2003-04

22-Nov

4-Jan

2004-05

27-Nov

4-Jan

2005-06

15-Nov

15-Feb

2006-07

11-Oct

1-Dec

2007-08

5-Nov

1-Dec

2008-09

6-Nov

30-Nov

2009-10

8-Dec

8-Dec

2010-11

12-Nov

10-Dec

2011-12

9-Nov

?

So, the question is - when will some location in the Madison to Milwaukee area see its first snowfall of 6 inches or more?   We'll have to wait and see.


 ...DATES OF FIRST SNOW AND FIRST MEASURABLE SNOW FOR MILWAUKEE AND MADISON...

..................MILWAUKEE.................
EARLIEST TRACE...SEP 23 1942
EARLIEST MEASURABLE...OCT 6 1889  /0.1 INCH/
EARLIEST ONE INCH ACCUM...OCT 17 1896  /1.0 INCH/

AVERAGE DATE FOR FIRST TRACE...OCT 28TH
AVERAGE DATE FOR FIRST MEASURABLE...NOV 14TH
AVERAGE DATE FOR FIRST ONE INCH...DEC 2ND

LATEST TRACE...DEC 5 1999
LATEST MEASURABLE...DEC 26 1888  /0.1 INCH/
LATEST ONE INCH ACCUM...JAN 20 1889  /1.0 INCH/

..................MADISON.....................
EARLIEST TRACE...SEP 23 1928
EARLIEST MEASURABLE...OCT 6 1964  /0.5 INCH/
EARLIEST ONE INCH ACCUM...OCT 10 1990  /3.0 INCHES/

AVERAGE DATE FOR FIRST TRACE...OCT 25TH
AVERAGE DATE FOR FIRST MEASURABLE...NOV 5TH
AVERAGE DATE FOR FIRST ONE INCH...NOV 18TH

LATEST TRACE...NOV 28 1994
LATEST MEASURABLE...DEC 15 1999  /0.9 INCH/
LATEST ONE INCH ACCUM...DEC 23 2001  /1.1 INCH/



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