Monday October 3rd
Now that October is underway we will be approaching some of our autumn benchmarks that relate to winter. There are two: the first night to fall below freezing and the date of the first snow. Over the past decade the dates of these benchmarks has varied from year to year.
First night below freezing:
Since 2000, the first night to fall below freezing in the Hudson Valley has always been in October. The earliest occurrence was October 3rd (2003) and the latest was October 29th (2007). The average date over the past 15 Octobers has been October 15th. The current forecast keeps us well above freezing through the 9th, so while we have to wait and see how next week plays out, this year we should make it pretty close to the average date.
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The first measurable snow:
Unlike the first freezing temperature of the season, the date of the first measurable snow of the season varies greatly. Since 2004, the first snow fall has arrived as late as December 29th (2015) and as early as October 29th (2011). That's a difference of nearly nine weeks! While 2011 has been the only year to record measurable snowfall (as opposed to flurries), it is noted as a benchmark now, because it can happen. The average date of the first measurable snowfall is November 26th.
The Climate Prediction Center is forecasting above normal temperatures for our area with equal chances for a wetter or drier than normal season this autumn.