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Early-Season Snow Off to a Solid Start

arapahoebasin_tw Arapahoe Basin in Colorado enjoys an October snow (Arapahoe Basin/Twitter)

September and October delivered a handful of base-building storms across the country. For some, record-setting early-season snow has the season off to a great start. Here’s a glimpse back at our early season snow events.



Sept 7-10: The days following Labor Day weekend was the first taste of early season snow in the west. A large trough of cold air dug into the U.S. from western Canada, spreading widespread snow down the Rockies as far south as New Mexico with top amounts of 1-2 feet of snow in parts of Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado.



October was a beast of it's own, delivering well above average snow totals from the northern Rockies to the Northeast. These maps from NOAA's Weather Prediction Center shows October snowfall, and the total as compared to average.


Oct 10-14: A persistent snowy and cold pattern stretched from the northern Rockies to the Great Lakes, with as much as 15-25” falling in the Washington Cascades.


Oct 14-20: Then the cold and snow spread east, mounting record setting early season totals from Montana to Wisconsin, even allowing a record early opening for Wild Mountain on Oct 19. Meanwhile, a sneaky coastal storm in New England delivered 5-10” across northern New Hampshire and Maine.

Oct 24-27: Another huge early season cold snap developed for the west with widespread snow and cold from the Pacific Northwest to Texas! Western Montana racked up as much as 30-40”, while peaks in eastern Utah also snagged 2-3’. Parts of New Mexico piled up more than a foot of new snow.

Oct 30-31: A Halloween treat for the Northeast as a slow-to-move storm system dropped a bit over 6” from New York to New England. This snow set October records in the city of Albany and Boston, and delivered an early season treat for the ski areas in between.


Only time will tell specific storm details for the rest of the season, but we do know La Nina will impact the larger weather pattern through winter. Read our story on the winter outlook in SnoNews.

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