The First Measurable Snow of the Season

 First snow of the season for Cedar Falls, Iowa, Photo by Craig Johnson, CopyRIGHT 2018

First snow of the season for Cedar Falls, Iowa, Photo by Craig Johnson, CopyRIGHT 2018

The first snow arrived early this year. October 14th is early. While a few flakes sometimes fly in October it is not common to have measurable snow this early. The day started with rain but by afternoon, as colder air moved in, it changed to what you see in this photo - large flakes collecting on grassy surfaces.

Temperatures were relatively warm - in the 30s. When temperatures are just above freezing the flakes are usually large due to moisture that condenses on the falling flakes making them “sticky.” Flakes stick together and condensation continues to grow the existing ice crystals creating the large flakes. The large flakes are easily visible in the photo. In the end we measured .3 (three-tenths) inches of snow, which melted almost immediately. We did manage to have scattered snow still on the ground the next morning but it melted quickly. It is all a reminder that winter cannot be far behind, although it is still anyone’s guess how soon a “serious” snowfall will occur.