First Snow to Reach Upper Midwest This Weekend

As waves of colder air sweep southward from Canada, the first snowflakes of the season are possible for some locations in northern portions of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.

The combination of progressively colder air and weak disturbances will set the atmosphere up to produce chilly rain showers over the Upper Midwest starting this weekend.

The warm waters of the Great Lakes will warm the air slightly but, at the same time, will add some moisture to the the air and make some of the showers heavier.

Where the showers are heaviest and the atmosphere cools enough locally, some wet snow can mix in with the rain and could even change to all wet snow.

Through nearly the end of October, the waves of colder air will keep coming from Central Canada and will make more progress to the south and east around the Great Lakes region.

From Minnesota to Michigan this weekend, RealFeel® temperatures can dip near to below freezing at times during the daylight hours, after including wind, actual temperature, precipitation and other factors.

According to Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, "As the pattern continues to evolve, other areas around the lower Great Lakes and the central and northern Appalachians are likely to join in with their first snowflakes of the season."

The pattern has the potential to bring the first accumulating snow to a few areas that receive lake effect.

"The best chance of snowflakes and perhaps ground-whitening snow for parts of the southern and eastern Great Lakes and the higher ground of the central Appalachians appears to be later next week," Abrams said.

It is not unusual for a small amount snow to fall in the vicinity the Great Lakes and Appalachians during the second half of October.

Average Snowfall for October*

Snowfall (Inches)
Chicago, Ill.
Fort Wayne, Ind.
Syracuse, N.Y.
Binghamton, N.Y.
Pittsburgh, Pa.
Burlington, Vt.

*Some of these locations, and others, could see some snowflakes from the upcoming pattern.

While the pattern will bring the coldest air of the season so far in terms of daytime highs from the Midwest to New England and the mid-Atlantic, it does not favor snow for the I-95 corridor.

The atmosphere along the coast will generally still be too warm. Only if a storm were to spin up just offshore as the cold air was moving in would there be a chance of snow to fall near the East Coast.