Wednesday, September 18, 2013

First Snow of the Autumn at Fairbanks

The first snow of the new autumn fell late Tuesday evening at Fairbanks Airport. This is four days earlier than the long term average of date of first snow of September 21st. Amounts in town have been very light, just a trace. Even on the hills there has been just a dusting, with 0.1" here on Keystone Ridge through 5am AKDT Wednesday.

Last year the first trace of snow at the Fairbanks Airport was on September 30th. So, today's trivia question is: what's the earliest and latest "first snow" (not hail) in the autumn at Fairbanks?

7pm update:  Snowfall picked up after 5am and it snowed smartly for several hours this morning. Fairbanks Airport wound up with 0.6" of snow and UAF West Ridge 0.9". This is 12 days earlier than the average date of the first measurable snow (at the Airport). These are the earliest measurable snows in the autumn at these low elevation locations since 1993.

Here at Keystone Ridge the 0.1" of snow before midnight Tuesday made this the earliest accumulating snow in the autumn since way back in 2004, and another 0.8" fell this morning.


  1. I am familiar with the history for early/late measurable snow (0.1" or more), but not for a trace. I will guess that Fairbanks may have made it to mid-October without a trace, but I'm not sure on the early side. I'm curious whether snowflakes were ever observed prior to the infamous Aug 29 snowfall of 1922.

    1. Richard,

      The earliest snow (not hail) was August 7, 1969. The latest date in the modern era for first flakes were Oct 12, 1938. After the early August snow in 1969, the next occurrence of snow was Oct 20th.