Ask Ellen: When do we usually see our first proper snow?

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A sharp cold front swept through western Michigan Thursday night, quickly sending temperatures down 20 degrees.

Friday and Saturday the chill will trap our high temps in the low 50’s and some nights over the coming week are expected to drop into the 30’s.

Winter is coming.

The question we have from a viewer is when do we actually need to shovel?


Many Michiganders can remember a cold Halloween or two, where rain and snow fell during trick-or-treating. The first flakes are fairly common in West Michigan in October, but only 25 of the last 125 Halloweens have recorded snow accumulations.

Places like Marquette typically see around three days where there is at least a slight dusting in the month of October. Most of western Michigan has only a 10% to 40% chance of seeing a tenth of an inch this month.


It’s usually until much later in the season before the West Michiganders need to use their shovels. Every year is different, and it has already snowed significantly on October 12th, but we usually have to wait until December or even January before our shovel arms really start getting a workout.


In the last five years, our first measurable snow fell on November 9, 2018 until Christmas Eve 2020. Ask Ellen: When do we usually see our first proper snow?

Dais Johnston

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