How often does it really snow this late in the season?

Image 1 of 2

By now you’ve likely heard the rumor that some snowflakes are possible early this weekend. This article will NOT discuss the forecast for the weekend, so if you are looking for that, this is not the place.

While records aren’t kept on how often we see snowflakes that don’t accumulate this time of year, I can tell you from a meteorological perspective, it’s more often than you want it to be. It’s quite common in April and May, to get a cool storm that gives us a rainy day where a snowflake or two will mix in. But, actual accumulating snow has become far more rare over the years.

There have only been seven years since 1976 where accumulating snow was recorded at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport after April 26. That’s roughly one out of every six years.

Going all the way back to 1872 when weather records began, there have been 32 years where we have had at least a dusting of snow after this point in the season. For those doing the math, that’s even more often, coming in once every four to five years.

Just adding a year or two to the frequency of events may not sound like much, but that’s a pretty big trend.

The most snow we’ve seen after this point in the season was way back in 1907 with more than a foot. The early may snow of 2013 is likely “fresh” in most of our minds, but 2002 was a big year with six inches of snow falling after the April 26, putting that year in fourth place.

The latest the Twin Cities has ever had measurable snow was a dusting on May 24, 1925. The latest in the year we have seen at least an inch of snow, was when 3 inches fell on May 20, 1892.

So, according to climatology, we have a solid three to four more weeks of snow season. But don’t fret too much… even IF we get accumulating snow this weekend, it will be gone in just a few hours now that the ground is WARM and the ice is out of area lakes. Welcome to spring!