First Snow of 2009-2010

– Posted in: Weather

Last night it snowed. That, in itself, is not unusual for the second half of October. But normally we get flurries mixed with rain, and no accumulation. Yesterday a weather record for snow accumulation was broken. The official new record is 1.2 inches accumulation. The old record was “trace.” And unofficial reports coming in tell of as much as twice that accumulation.

The view from the porch around 7:30am.

The view from the porch around 7:30am. (Click to enlarge)

If you click on the photo, you can see that most of the trees have lost their leaves. This usually happens around this time, but normally it’s due to wind and rain, not the weight of snow. Here’s how this same hillside looked two days ago:
The hillside was past peak color two days ago, but still looked pretty.

The hillside was past peak color two days ago, but still looked pretty.

Yesterday the high temperature was 42F (5.5C). Last year it was 72F (22C). Going back the next three years, it was 61F, 56F, and 68F in 2007, 2006, and 2005, respectively. It makes you wonder what this winter will bring. In 1993 we got a foot of snow on October 31st, and that turned into the worst winter I ever lived through.

Of course, this is all child’s play compared to Buffalo’s October 2006 snowstorm, so I’m trying hard to keep things in perspective. I generally figure there will be one mild day the first week in November to get the final clean up done, and they are predicting temperatures in the sixties next week, so I’m hoping I will still get to plant the box of a hundred crocuses I bought. So I’m trying hard not to panic. But it is disconcerting.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

When dealing with frost it is always best to be paranoid. In the spring never think it is too late for one more frost to come. And in the fall never think it too early.

~Rundy in Frost

Comments on this entry are closed.

greg draiss October 24, 2009, 1:39 pm

YIKES: I love snow but I love October more!

Phillip October 19, 2009, 3:21 pm

Wow, very beautiful. I can’t believe some people are already getting snow. It seems so early.
.-= Phillip´s last blog ..Where is the Fall color? =-.

Ilona October 19, 2009, 1:26 am
It is just TOO early to see that.

Helen Yoest @ Gardening With Confidence October 18, 2009, 12:07 pm

We are still waiting for our first frost. Not yet, and not this week. It will actually be warming up again. If we got 1.2 inches, the schools would have closed and mad panic would ensue.

I hope you get your bulbs in.
.-= Helen Yoest @ Gardening With Confidence´s last blog ..Sunday, October 18, 2009 Puttering in Helen’s Haven =-.

Jim Sanderson October 17, 2009, 10:21 pm

It’s true that the snow is a little early but as a native of snow country now living in Arizona for a variety of reasons, I envy you with both the beautiful fall foliage and the equally beautiful snow.

Barbara Bell October 17, 2009, 5:21 pm

I’m glad to know I’m not the only one still planting bulbs and plants, racing the cold weather and nighttime freezes! Just got in my 85 bulbs and 6 perennials (sedum, coriopsis, and daylily) today. We had a trace of snow (in Syracuse) on Thursday morning but today it was almost 50F and sunny.

Ramble on Rose October 17, 2009, 2:58 pm

I’m sorry for you! It was blustery and rainy here, but thankfully no snow (yet)!
.-= Ramble on Rose´s last blog ..October Bloom Day =-.

Country Gardener October 17, 2009, 9:29 am

Wow, that’s amazing. So far we have been spared snow, but it has been colder than usual for mid-October. Are you finding that the fall color hasn’t been as good this year? That’s certainly our experience here in southern Ontario. The color is later and more muted than usual.
.-= Country Gardener´s last blog ..Overwintering our non-hardy succulents =-.

Pam/Digging October 16, 2009, 11:49 pm

Wow. Pretty though.

Dee/reddirtramblings October 16, 2009, 9:30 pm

Kathy, it must be as disconcerting as it is beautiful. I am always so impressed that you’re able to garden in such a cold climate, and I think often about your weather compared to mine. Hand tough.~~Dee

Noelle October 16, 2009, 7:56 pm


Your photos of the snowy landscape are beautiful, even though it is a little early. I understand what you mean about the changing weather. It is hard to know what to expect anymore, you can hardly call weather ‘normal’ anymore. I hope it warms up so that you can plant your Crocus bulbs 🙂
.-= Noelle´s last blog ..Garden Bloggers Bloom Day October 2009 =-.

Lynn October 16, 2009, 2:40 pm

disconcerting is one word for it! I still have actual plants to plant!
.-= Lynn´s last blog ..September color =-.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter October 16, 2009, 2:35 pm

Snow on leaves just isn’t right. This happened to us in Chicagoland in October 2006, too. It’s so depressing.
.-= Mr. McGregor’s Daughter´s last blog ..After the Freeze -October Bloom Day =-.

barbara October 16, 2009, 1:28 pm

This southern gal is a little jealous of the snow! All we’ve had is cold rain and gray skies. FYI – if we’d had a snow like that down here in Tennessee, school would be out for two days and all grocery stores would be emptied of milk and bread. 🙂

Salix October 16, 2009, 1:02 pm

A few flurries mixed with rain last night – and hoping that we’ll get a couple of weeks with nicer, somewhat warm temps before the “deep freeze”.
Of your two photos I definitely prefer the one from two days ago.
.-= Salix´s last blog ..Salix koriyanagi ‘Rubykins’ =-.

Tatyana October 16, 2009, 11:22 am

OMG! It puts me back to reality. I am still kind of with one foot in summer yet. But I agree with other commenters, it looks good. Stay warm!
.-= Tatyana´s last blog ..Purple Frame Blooms of October =-.

Helen at Toronto Gardens October 16, 2009, 11:00 am

Kathy, As disappointing as it is for a gardener to see snow in mid-October, on an objective level you have to admit it’s a very pretty sight. As your photo illustrates.

About your Corydalis question on our blog: Here, it’s sandy soil which is well drained, to say the least. My corydalis grows best in the cracks between my patio paving stones or in the tiny space between the asphalt and house bricks on my neighbour’s (slightly sunnier) side of the driveway. From this, I intuit that they like cool feet that’s moist but not wet, and partial shade. All attempts to get them to grow in the dry, dry shade of my front garden have failed. The mother plant of all my babies is in almost full shade all day. I should say that it showed the classic sleep, creep, leap pattern when first planted.

Helen at Toronto Gardens October 16, 2009, 11:02 am

Oops. I see I’ve missed a word or two up there: they like cool feet *and soil* that’s moist but not wet.
.-= Helen at Toronto Gardens´s last blog ..Frost? Time to rescue annuals & houseplants =-.

wiseacre October 16, 2009, 10:59 am

Better you than me 🙂
Last year early snow in Oct took down one of my maple trees that had not dropped it’s leaves yet.

I did see a couple of flurries yesterday