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Winter Weather Awareness: Too early for snow? Not really.

The earliest trace of snow was recorded in Milwaukee on September 23, 1942. September, now that's early!
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Posted at 4:00 AM, Nov 16, 2022

MILWAUKEE — Many of us were not ready for winter, but winter was ready for southeast Wisconsin.

Accumulating snow in mid-November may seem early to many of us, but it's certainly not the earliest we've seen snow.

The earliest trace of snow was recorded in Milwaukee on Sept. 23, 1942. September, now that's early!

The earliest tenth of an inch fell on Oct. 6, 1889. On Oct. 10, 1896, Milwaukee saw its earliest first inch of snow. But these are exceptions to the average.

Normally, snow doesn't fall until a little later in the season. Our average first trace and first tenth of an inch arrive in early to mid-November. But our first inch of snow doesn't typically fall until early December.

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Snow averages for the Milwaukee area

Last year in 2021, our first measurable snow didn't fall until Dec. 5, nearly three weeks later than the snow we had this week.

Here's a look at average snow totals, broken down by month.

October: 0.3"
November: 2.5"
December: 10.4"
January: 14.9"
February: 11.8"
March: 6.7"
April: 2.1"

That adds up to an average season total of 48.7" of snow.

The snowiest winter season in Milwaukee totaled 109.8" of snow, which was way back in 1885-1886.

Only a few years before that in 1883-1884, Milwaukee only picked up 5.8" of snow, the least snowy winter on record.

Winter Weather Awareness Week continues through Friday. Check back in on the TMJ4 Weather Blog for more winter weather highlights and important information.

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