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With November looming on the horizon, some folks might be starting to wonder: What are the "typical" first dates that South Central Nebraska and North Central Kansas can expect measurable snow (defined as at least one-tenth of an inch)?

Although SNOW IS NOT IMMINENT ANYTIME SOON within the 30-county NWS Hastings coverage area, whether you like it or not, most of the area is only 1 month away (roughly) from the average date of the first measurable snow!


Listed in the table below are average "first snowfall" dates for various locations across the local area, generally arranged from north-to-south. This information is based on the most recent 30 snowfall seasons from official NWS Cooperative Observers (1987-1988 through 2016-2017).

Of course, keep in mind that these are only averages, and yearly variations between first snowfall dates can be quite significant! For example, in Grand Island, the first occurrence of measurable snow during the past 30 years has ranged anywhere from Sep. 20 (in 1995) to Dec. 31 (in 2010). Last winter, (2016-2017), most of our coverage area saw its first measurable snow on either Nov. 18th (including the Nebraska Tri Cities)  or Dec. 4th (including places such as Hebron and Smith Center). 


AVERAGE "First Snowfall" Dates Past 30 Years (1987-2016)

Location 0.1" Or More
(in 24 hours)
1" Or More
(in 24 hours)
2" Or More
(in 24 hours)
Ord Nov. 11 Nov. 14 Nov. 16
Grand Island Nov. 12 Nov. 24 Dec. 6
Hastings Nov. 16 Nov. 26 Dec. 13
Kearney Nov. 18 Nov. 23 Dec. 4
Holdrege Nov. 21 Dec. 1 Dec. 14
Hebron Nov. 20 Nov. 30 Dec. 6
Smith Center, KS Nov. 26 Dec. 12 Dec. 16
Plainville, KS Nov. 23 Dec. 10 Dec. 23
Beloit, KS Dec. 8 Dec. 12 Dec. 19


The two graphics below also help to "set the stage" for the upcoming snowfall season within our Central Plains Region (click images to enlarge):

  • Similar to the data in the table above, the image on the left depicts the median date of the first measurable snow (0.1" or more) across the entire north central United States (courtesy of the Midwestern Regional Climate Center) 
  • The image on the right depicts "normal" seasonal snowfall across our region based on official 30-year normals from 1981-2010. Within our particular 30-county coverage area, "typical" seasonal snow ranges from as little as 16-20" in most of north central Kansas, up to around 35" in far northern communities such as Ord. 

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