Typical First Freeze & Snow Stats
With the days growing shorter and temperatures cooler, those in the snow and ice industry are busy preparing for the upcoming winter season. Most are especially curious when we will see our first freeze and eventually first snow here in the Northeast. Let's take a look at the climatological data to find out when the mercury levels usually drop to 32°F for the first time, ending the growing season, and when the first measurable snow of the season typically occurs. We'll even dive into the extreme stats to find out just how early we have ever observed the first freeze and just how late in the season we had to wait for the first snow.
During the months of October and November, Mother Nature normally ushers in the first widespread freeze for folks from Maine to Virginia. For the more populated areas along the I - 95 corridor, the first 32 degree readings begin in Southern New England and the Hudson Valley in early to mid - October while most of New Jersey and the NYC and Philly metro areas see the first freeze during the second half of October. Thanks to the still warm Atlantic Ocean waters, those along the Jersey Shore normally don't see freezing temperatures until November, and the same goes for those in the mid - Atlantic from Baltimore to Richmond. The map and chart below outline the typical first freeze in addition to the earliest and latest first freeze extremes.
The first measurable snow usually lags behind the first freeze by a few weeks. Those from Boston through North Jersey on average measure the first snowfall during late November or early December while the southern half of New Jersey, Southeast PA and Maryland hold off until mid - December. Of course, many of us have learned that Mother Nature does not always follow the trend. During some winters, we have recorded the first snow within the first weeks of October while in other winters we had to wait until February! See the map and charts below to learn the date in which the major Northeast cities usually measure the first snow along with the earliest and latest first snow extremes on record.