ST. LOUIS — There’s a chill in the air and some leaves are starting to shed their green for crisp fall colors. This has a lot of people asking when Missouri will see its first snowfall.
In Missouri, October is the earliest month for recorded snow. Snow has been recorded in Springfield as early as October 17 in 1898. Notable events include a major snowstorm on October 22-23, 1996, where parts of northwestern and west-central Missouri received 3-11.5 inches of snow. This heavy, wet snow caused damage to trees and power lines due to the leaves still being on the trees. The state’s one-day October snowfall record of 11.5 inches was reported in Rolla, Phelps County, on October 27, 1913, and in Fairfax, Atchison County, on October 23, 1996.
NOAA is not predicting extreme weather in Missouri over the next few months. They say there is an equal chance for above- or below-average temperatures. The chances for precipitation are about the same, with no indication of a particularly wet or dry fall transition into winter.
An El Niño weather pattern is expected in the Northern Hemisphere this year. But changes in temperature and precipitation are expected north and south of the state of Missouri.
The earliest measurable snowfall in St. Louis was on October 20, 1916. A measurable snowfall, according to the National Weather Service, is one-tenth of an inch or more. On average, the first traces of snowfall typically appear on December 5, with snowfalls of an inch or less by December 21.
The St. Louis area generally experiences less than an inch of snow in November, with the total seasonal average around 16 inches. However, snowfall varies across the winter months, with December averaging 3.2 inches, January seeing 5.7 inches, February with 4.3 inches, and March typically receiving 2.3 inches.
There were 15 inches of snow that fell in St. Louis during the winter of 2022. The snowiest year in the St. Louis area was 1912, boasting a remarkable 63 inches of snow, while the least snowy year occurred in 1954, when only 1.5 inches fell.
Meteorologist Glenn Zimmerman says that October is shaping up to start mainly dry. We’ve had snow on Halloween before, but this October, we probably won’t see any snow. November can be a crazy month with a mix of mild days and snow days. For the past few years, we’ve had snowflakes in November. This year, likely no exception.