**Related Video Above: Snow falling in May 2023 in Highland Hills.**
CLEVELAND (WJW) — As much as we’d like to fight it, snow is on its way. Maybe not today, probably not tomorrow, but most certainly in the next couple months.
Last winter was a mild one, with Cleveland seeing around 22 inches of snowfall from November to March. January was our “snowiest” month last year with 11 inches accumulating in Cleveland.
However, a mild winter isn’t necessarily indicative of when flakes are going to fly first.
Average first measurable snowfall in Northeast Ohio
The National Weather Service defines a first snowfall as one that measures one-tenth of an inch or more.
- Cleveland – Nov. 10
- Akron/Canton – Nov. 9
- Youngstown- Nov. 5
- Mansfield – Nov. 18
The earliest snow has come for Cleveland and Akron/Canton was Oct. 2 in 2003 and 1974, respectively. However, the latest snow came for Cleveland in a winter season was Jan. 1 in 1924. So take it all with a grain of salt. History shows snow could come early as October and as late as January. But how much snow should we be expecting?
Average amount of snow through winter season
- Cleveland – 63.8 inches
- Akron/Canton – 47.2 inches
Of course, there’s a wild fluctuation between highs and lows here as well. For instance, the most snow Cleveland ever got was about 117 inches in the 2004-2005 season, but the least was 8.8 inches in the 1918-1919 season … proving we are likely to get at least some snow this season.
The earliest snowfall over the last 10 years
The National Weather Service has kindly put together a roundup of the past winters in Northeast Ohio, in case you’re looking to relive those experiences. Let’s take a look at when the first snow event of the season came for Cleveland, as measured at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport:
- 2022-2023 – Nov. 13 (first measurable)
- 2021-2022 – Nov. 14
- 2020- 2021 – Nov. 11
- 2019-2020 – Nov. 7
- 2018-2019 – Nov. 9
- 2017-2018 – Nov. 11
- 2016-2017 – Dec. 4
- 2015-2016 – Oct. 17
- 2014-2015 – Nov. 13
- 2013-2014 – Nov. 8
The first day of winter is Dec. 21. But as the above dates show, you’ll need to to be prepared for snow before then.
However, it could be another mild winter ahead. The Climate Prediction Center forecasts for El Nino to continue into the winter seasons, with a greater than 95% chance through December 2023-February 2024. A strong El Nino event would mean a warmer-than-average winter with lack of precipitation. If this forecast verifies, we could have a winter that was similar to last year.
Look for FOX 8 meteorologists to release their winter weather outlook the last week of October when scientific parameters are more applicable.