How Rare is October Snow in the Capital Region?

The first accumulating snow of the season is expected for some Thursday night into Friday.


What You Need To Know

  • Rain will flip to wet snow on Thursday night
  • Snow will have a hard time sticking to paved surfaces
  • Snow ends for most by late Friday morning

We’ve already seen a couple rare weather events in our area this year, but rare occurrences in general have been par for the course for 2020, right?

It would only be appropriate if we tacked on an October snow event!

NWS Albany

October snow in the Capital Region is pretty rare, but it’s not completely unheard of. Out of the 136 years on record, measurable snowfall in Albany has occurred in 14 of those. The last of those was back in 2016.

Typically when we see snow in October it is heavy, wet snow and is highly elevation-dependent.

rad

Radar Wednesday evening

Wednesday was busy in the deep south. Hurricane Zeta made landfall with winds of 110 mph– the strongest landfalling hurricane in the continental US this late in the year since the Halloween hurricane of 1899.

While that was happening, the upper-level low to the west of it brought wintry weather and even blizzard conditions to parts of New Mexico and the Texas panhandle.

The remnants of Zeta and the upper low will phase together to bring us a soaking rainfall Thursday afternoon, followed by accumulating wet snow Thursday night into early Friday.

rain

Rain flips to snow from north to south Thursday night

The combination of a half inch to an inch of rain and marginal temperatures for snow will make it tough for it to stick on most paved surfaces. While you’ll want to budget extra travel time Friday morning due to chilly, windy, raw conditions, I think most roads will just be wet.

Snowfall forecast Thursday night-Friday morning

The exception will be the higher elevations, especially upwards of 1500 feet where a slushy couple of inches could accumulate in time for the Friday morning commute. Snow looks to taper from northwest to southeast Friday with a good amount of the region seeing some sun Friday afternoon.

Capital Region Halloween forecast

The record low in Albany for Halloween is 18 degrees and while I don’t think we’ll be that cold Saturday morning, we’ll be pretty close starting the day in the low 20s!

Most importantly, dry weather is expected all day for trick or treaters, but I think it’ll be a coat-over-the-costume Halloween for most this year.