Snow next week? Perfectly typical for November

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Lake-effect snowfall on November 12, 2013 (Andrew Sawyer, St. Joseph)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — As we move into the second week of November, it appears increasingly likely that West Michigan will see measurable snowfall as a massive push of cold air drops into the eastern half of the U.S.

While many are lamenting this forecast as an “early” start to wintry weather, it really isn’t that early at all.  If you go back through the entire period of record-keeping in the Grand Rapids area, the average date of the first measurable snowfall (at least one-tenth of an inch) is November 8.

In fact, it appears this will be the fifth year in a row with remarkable consistency in the first measurable snowfall:

  • 2010-11: November 5
  • 2011-12: November 10
  • 2012-13: November 12
  • 2013-14: November 11

In other words, the first half of November is exactly when we typically see our first snow stick to the ground.  And it’s far from unusual to see accumulating snow this time of year, either.  The photo attached to this story was taken when the first heavy lake-effect snow fell on Berrien County on November 12 last year.  Check the calendar, and we see that we’re right in line with that again next week.

It might not make the forecast any more pleasant for those who hate cold and snow, but perhaps there’s comfort in knowing we aren’t in uncharted territory.  It’s far too early to pin down how much snow we may see next week, but you can always check the updated forecast on the Weather page.


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