HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — It’s November, which means winter is not far away. Historically, some of the earliest snows recorded at Harrisburg International Airport have occurred in mid-October and early November.
According to data compiled by abc27 meteorologist Adis Juklo, the 10 earliest snows at Harrisburg International Airport, where the information is recorded, occurred on the following dates:
- Oct. 19, 1940
- Oct. 19, 1972
- Oct. 29, 2011
- Oct. 30, 1925
- Nov. 2, 1954
- Nov. 3, 1951
- Nov. 3, 1958
- Nov. 3, 1962
- Nov. 5, 1891
- Nov. 5, 1976
Although some of those historical dates are right around this time of year, Juklo says there’s no threat of snow for the first week or two of November 2022.
While the weather will be mild for the start of the month, Juklo said cold air will build across western North America, and when that pattern flips, the Midstate could see its first snowflakes of the season. Those flakes could fall by the third or fourth week of November, Juklo estimated, and early indications point toward periods of cold and possible snow in December.
Historically, the Midstate tends to get its first measurable snow by Dec. 1, Juklo noted.
In recent years, November snowfall totals have been lower than they were in the past. “From 1998-2021, the average snow in November was 0.6 inches. In the previous 24 years (1974-1997), the average was more than double — 1.4 inches. It’s still low, but big snows in November just haven’t been common in recent years,” Juklo wrote in an email. (The exception was a storm on Nov. 15, 2018, that produced 8.8 inches of snow.)
Decembers have shown a similar trend, Juklo said, so most of the Midstate’s snow recently has come from January through March.
Experts predict that this winter will be another La Niña winter. Last year, leading up to the last La Niña winter, abc27 meteorologist Dan Tomaso explained that La Niña conditions typically lead to wetter weather west of Pennsylvania, drier conditions south of Pennsylvania, but a bit of a mixed message for the Keystone State itself.
El Niño winter weather is a bit easier to predict than La Niña winter weather in Pennsylvania, Tomaso noted (El Niño usually means noreasters and big storms). Previous La Niña winters in the state have seen slightly above-average snowfall and near-average to above-average temperatures.