Have We Finally Left Winter Weather Behind?

Jonathan Erdman
Published: April 20, 2019

Snow will be increasingly hard to find in the continental U.S. over the next week as spring warmth becomes more widespread, melting snowpack and keeping any snowfall chances mainly pinned to the mountains.

Just over a week ago, Winter Storm Wesley blasted a swath of the Rockies, northern Plains and upper Midwest with over a foot of snow and blizzard conditions.

A snowy scene in Chicago on April 14, 2019.
(Chel_seeya/Twitter)

Then, on Palm Sunday, a swath from Illinois to Lower Michigan, including Chicago, saw one of its heaviest one-day snowfalls so late in the spring, prompting hundreds of flight cancellations.

Even by northern Maine standards, it has been a long winter.

Caribou, Maine, just set a record streak of days with at least an inch of snow on the ground, a streak that has been in place since the day before Veterans Day.

There are those who love snow any time of year, such as skiers and snowboarders. Then, there are those who are winter-fatigued by March, if not earlier.

If you're in the latter camp, we have some good news for you.

Scant Snow for Most

The same storm system responsible for yet another rash of severe thunderstorms and flooding rain late this week won't have much cold air to work with.

(MORE: Severe Thunderstorm Forecast)

However, this system brought light snow accumulation Saturday morning in southeastern Indiana.

Snow mixed with rain in White House, Tennessee, early Saturday. Some snow may also dot the higher peaks of the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina this weekend.

Otherwise, the only snow forecast through the days following Easter Sunday will be in the higher elevations of the Rockies.


Forecast Rain and Snow Through Tuesday

Warmer Pattern Ahead

Recent warmer weather has already taken a toll on snow cover east of the Rockies, melting most of the snowpack from Winter Storm Wesley.

According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, warmer-than-average conditions are expected to persist over much of the Lower 48 states through next week, if not the rest of the month.

This pattern would also keep accumulating snowfall potential low for most.


Extended-Range Temperature Outlook

Snow Season Over, Finally?

If you're eager to put the snow blower and shovels in storage and get out the patio furniture, you can typically do so by now in most areas.

We're currently either past, or soon will pass, the average last snow date of the season in most areas east of the Rockies.

The colors of each dot correspond to the month of the season's average last snow.
(Data: National Weather Service)

That's not to say it cannot snow past those typical March or April dates.

Many Northeast and Midwest locations outside New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore have seen May snow, even late in the month, as we covered in a previous column.

In parts of the West, particularly over the higher terrain, it can snow into June or even July. Denver once had a trace of snow on June 12, 1947.

Snowpack in much of the Mountain West remains well above average for this time of year, which is good news for both replenishing Western water supplies and for ski resorts looking to extend their seasons.


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