Here’s when we typically see our first snowfall of the year, and how much we usually get in a year

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Updated: Oct. 18, 2022 at 12:41 AM CDT
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Across the NBC Nebraska viewing area, the first snowfall of the season usually happens as we progress through the months of October and November. Here’s how it breaks down:

KNOP Average first snowfall 10-17-2022
KNOP Average first snowfall 10-17-2022(KNOP Average first snowfall 10-17-2022)

The highest elevations in Wyoming that see us, including the I-25 and I-80 corridors, and the cities of Wheatland, Chugwater, and Cheyenne usually see the first snowfall between October 1st and 15th.

As we move east, and into lower elevations, areas receiving their first average snowfall in the second half of October, include most of the Panhandle and Sandhills. Torrington, Scottsbluff, Kimball, Sidney, Hyannis, and Mullen are some of the cities in this timeframe.

Most of us see the first snowfall between November 1st and 15th. North Platte, Broken Bow, Lexington, Ogallala, and Imperial in Central NE are included in this category. But also cities like Valentine, Chadron, Gordon, and Oshkosh usually get their first snowfall in the first half of November.

Finally there is a little area where the frist snow happens in the second half of November, basically from Curtis and off to the south, and Palisade and off to the east.

Now, how much snow do we typically see during an average winter?

KNOP Average annual snowfall 10-17-2022
KNOP Average annual snowfall 10-17-2022(KNOP Average annual snowfall 10-17-2022)

In a line from Oskhosh to Broken Bow, and off to the south, the average annual snowfall is 24-30″.

As we progress north into the Sandhills and west into the Panhandle, we will increase the average snow amounts. Sidney, Arthur, and Tryon are some of the cities that typically pick up 30-36″ anually.

Continuing this pattern, you can see typically the earlier it starts snowing, the more snow an area gets. Cities in the 36-42″ range include Scottsbluff, Valentine, Alliance, Chadron, and Gordon.

The Kimball area, as well as Sioux county (North of Scottsbluff), and a little patch in Western Cherry county, typically pick up 42-48″ of snow anually.

And as you go west of Kimball toward Cheyenne, there’s an area of 48-60″. Something else to notice on this map is ... areas where the terrain has a higher slope up ... as you go from east to west ... usualy are areas where more snow falls.

Forecasts for the upcoming winter call for average - to slightly below average - snowfall amounts.