DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The current period of colder than normal temperatures have some thinking about the first snow of the season.
While we are not quite there yet, according to the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio, the earliest date of measurable snow in Dayton occurred on October 18. On that date, Dayton picked up 0.20″ in the year 1989.
The most snow Dayton has ever picked up in October is a total of 5.8″ for the month in 1989. Most of that fell on Oct. 19, when we picked up a whopping 4.8″. This is also the earliest day on record that at least an inch of snow was measured.
While snow has been measured in the month of October, the average date of the first measurable snow is not until Nov. 24. When we say “measurable” snow, we mean a tenth of an inch or more.
The latest date that recorded the first measurable snow of the season came on Jan. 4 of 1941. The Dayton area had to wait all that time, and only picked up a half inch of snow on that date. It was not an ideal year for snow lovers!
January is typically the snowiest month in Dayton, with 8.3″ on average. This is followed by February and then December.
For measurable snow, we need cold air in place as a storm approaches. This helps cool the ground, so snow doesn’t melt on contact. Then, when a storm enters the picture, we see snow fall and accumulate.
The odds of a historically strong El Niño grew to 71% in a September update by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA forecasters said there’s a larger than 95% chance it lasts until the start of spring and a 60% chance it keeps going all the way until summer.
During an El Niño winter, parts of the Ohio Valley tend to be dry and warm.