How Unusual Was Today’s Snowfall?

October 12, 2018 0 Comments

No, you weren’t imaging the low to mid 80s that we saw earlier this week. It was really that warm. And it was also cold today with some our of local high temperatures not reaching 40 degrees.

We saw rain showers move through, but we were cold enough both at the surface and above it for it to snow at times. This also goes to show that it can snow when surface temperatures are above freezing. For this to happen, it needs to be below freezing from the cloud to just above the surface. This way snow can fall, and it won’t have enough time for it to melt before reaching the surface.

But whether it was the date, the weather earlier this week, or another reason, many people are likely thinking that snow on October 12th is strange. While it isn’t common, it has happened before.

Records in Peoria go back to 1893, and here are the 5 earliest measurable snowfalls on record:

Sept. 25, 1942 – 1.0″ (monthly record)
Oct. 18, 1972 – 0.3″
Oct. 19, 1989 – 0.4″
Oct. 20, 1916 – 0.3″
Oct. 23, 1929 – 3.3″ (monthly record)

Measurable snowfall is defined as 0.1″ or more. There have been other snows that have not been measurable but recorded a trace. Here are the earliest 5 traces of snow in Peoria:

Oct. 2, 2014
Oct. 5, 1932
Oct. 9, 1906
Oct. 10, 1932 and 1990
Oct. 11, 1905 and 1990.

Today’s trace tied the daily record set in 1909. If we saw 0.1″, it would have been the second earliest measurable snowfall on record.

Another fun stat that I saw while going through snowfall data today – it has never snowed a measurable amount on Halloween in Peoria. It is the latest day in the year without measurable snow on record.

 

-Chief Meteorologist Brian Walder

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