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Central Illinois Sees the Earliest Snowfall Since 2014

Peoria, IL - For the first time since October 2nd, 2014 Central Illinois had snow fall in October. While some areas saw enough snow to cover grassy areas and elevated surfaces, most of Central Illinois didn't receive measurable (0.1") snow. When an area receives less than measurable precipitation it is reported as "Trace" which is what officially fell in Peoria. 

While snow in October is uncommon, it has happened several times before. In fact, snow has fallen in  September in the Peoria! The earliest snow to fall in Peoria happened on September 25th in 1942 when Peoria received 1.0" of snow. 

Here are the earliest snowfalls since records began in 1893

  1. September 25th, 1942 (1.0")
  2. October 2nd, 2014 (Trace)
  3. October 5th, 1932 (Trace)
  4. October 9th, 1906 (Trace)
  5. October 10th, 1932 & 1990 (Trace)
  6. October 11th, 1905 & 1990 (Trace)
  7. October 12th, 1909 & 2018 (Trace)

What caused it to snow?

As I pointed out on Thursday, snow was possible across Central Illinois due to a process called evaportional cooling. While temperatures on the surface were sitting in the upper 30s and lower 40s by mid-morning, a layer of dry air between the base of the clouds and ground allowed temperatures to fall as precipitation began.

You see, as rain or snow falls through a layer of dry air it will evaporate causing the air to cool. As the process of evaporation continues, the air will continue to saturate and temperatures will continue to fall until the rain or snow can reach the ground. Today, those temperatures were able to fall below freezing throughout most of the atmosphere allowing the snow to reach the ground. 

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