Hopefully you entered our First Snowfall Contest from WAOW-TV and our eagerly wondering when that white blanket from nature may arrive (especially if you picked a late October or early November date.) Well I don’t have any real good chance of accumulating snow in the 7-Day forecast, but it certainly will be getting cold enough to snow in the upcoming week. So who knows, if some surprise disturbance spins into Wisconsin we could just get some white stuff.
It is interesting to look at the 30-year average of the first snowfalls in our region. The Green Bay National Weather Service put together a nice table of the average dates of the first 0.10″, 1.0″, and 3.0″ snowfall in central through northeast Wisconsin. You can see it fully below. As it turns out, we are getting pretty close to that time. For Wausau the average data of 0.10″ snowfall is November 3rd, while for 1.0″ it is November 12th. Hmmmm….maybe that’s why I picked November 13th awhile back for my guess as to when we would get that first inch.
Average Date of First Measurable Snowfalls
(credit: Green Bay National Weather Service)
Below are average first measurable snowfall dates for locations in northeast and north-central Wisconsin. The average dates were compiled from 30 years of data (1981-2010).
Avg Date Avg Date Avg Date Location 0.1 Inch 1.0 Inch 3.0 Inches
Antigo Nov 9 Nov 13 Nov 28
Appleton Nov 15 Nov 27 Dec 20
Chilton Nov 17 Nov 22 Dec 16
Clintonville Nov 16 Nov 25 Dec 15
Green Bay Nov 13 Nov 23 Dec 16
Kewaunee Nov 27 Nov 29 Dec 14
Lac Vieux Desert Oct 20 Oct 25 Nov 9
Laona Oct 21 Nov 4 Nov 17
Manitowoc Dec 9 Dec 11 Dec 26
Marinette Nov 20 Nov 28 Dec 22
Marshfield Nov 9 Nov 12 Dec 2
Merrill Nov 7 Nov 15 Nov 29
Oconto Nov 18 Nov 22 Dec 17
Oshkosh Nov 27 Dec 2 Dec 22
Rhinelander Nov 5 Nov 9 Nov 27
St Germain Oct 31 Nov 2 Nov 20
Shawano Nov 18 Nov 21 Dec 6
Stevens Point Nov 17 Nov 25 Dec 14
Sturgeon Bay Nov 20 Nov 25 Dec 16
Two Rivers Nov 27 Dec 1 Dec 16
Washington Island Nov 26 Dec 1 Dec 16
Wausau Nov 3 Nov 12 Nov 29
Wisc. Rapids Nov 17 Nov 21 Dec 2
There are many factors that can influence the average date at a particular location. During the fall and early winter, storm tracks can play a significant role between snow and rain. Along Lake Michigan and the waters of Green Bay, the warmer waters tend to keep the region several degrees above freezing resulting in a slower changeover to all snow during the fall and early winter.
Other factors than can influence the average dates include the location of the observing location that may be enclosed by trees or are in a wide open area. In addition, during the fall and early winter, volunteer observers may not measure the snowfall for several hours after the event which may allow for the snow to melt. This is especially true during the overnight hours early in the season where snow occurs and then melts before the observer makes a measurement.