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How 'early' is TOO early for Buffalo's first snowfall?

Just a week ago, Buffalo logged its first trio of 80-degree days in October since 1951.

This week? The first snowflakes are in the forecast.

There is a chance of snow in WNY's forecast this week

So, is it just the whiplash from summer to winter weather in a week's time, or is this week's forecast for snow unusually early?

National Weather Service data confirms that it's the latter.

It's not entirely unusual for the first snowflakes to fly in mid-October, but if there's measurable snow at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport this week – an unlikely possibility – it would qualify for the top 10 list of earliest snowfalls dating back to 1870.

One of the earliest – and of the top 10, easily the snowiest – was the October Surprise of 2006.

For the record, a measurable snowfall is accumulation of 0.1 inch or more.

Here's a look at the 10 earliest measurable snowfalls in Buffalo, dating to 1870:

  1. Oct. 6, 1991 – 0.2 inches
  2. Oct. 9, 1925 – 0.3 inches
  3. Oct. 10, 1906 – 1.4 inches
  4. Oct. 12, 2006 – 8.6 inches
  5. Oct. 13, 1909 – 6 inches
  6. Oct. 15, 1972 – 0.6 inches
  7. Oct. 18, 1943 – 1.5 inches
  8. Oct. 18, 1930 – 0.1 inches
  9. Oct. 19, 1952 – 0.3 inches
  10. Oct. 20, 1992 – 0.6 inches

On average, Buffalo logs its first snowflake on Oct. 24, its first measurable 0.1 inch on Nov. 8 and first inch of snow on Nov. 18.

 

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