Michael Wenye Li / Sun Photography Editor

Despite a petition with over 11,000 signatures calling for class cancellation in the midst of the polar vortex last Thursday, classes continued as usual.

October 14, 2018

Cornell Could See First Snow of Season This Thursday

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Cornell may see its first snowfall this week, according to weather forecasts by the University. This would bring snow showers back to Ithaca approximately six months after the year’s last snowfall on April 20.

The official University weather service lists a chance of “snow showers” for early Thursday morning after 2 a.m. and before 8 a.m. The night is predicted to be mostly cloudy, with a low around 33. The chance of precipitation is 40 percent.

This denotes a drastic shift in temperature, as last Wednesday the maximum temperature in Ithaca was 80 degrees farenheit.

Last year, Ithaca did not see snow until nearly a month later on Nov. 8, 2017, according to US Climate Data.

It has only snowed in October for five of the last 10  years, according to Northeast Regional Climate Center data, which has collected data on snowfall at Cornell for every month since February 1926. However, it has not snowed this early in the month since 2009, when it snowed two inches on Oct. 16.

According to the center’s “normals” for data, which are constructed using data from 1981 to 2010, October’s average snowfall is 0.4 inches. However, the only time that it has snowed more than “trace” amounts in October since 2010 was one day in 2016.

Despite this forecast, Syracuse.com reported earlier this month based on Accuweather’s seasonal forecast that upstate New York would see a serious reduction in lake-effect snow.

Ithaca sees an average of 43.9 days of snow during a season, with an average overall snowfall of 64.4 inches, according to National Weather Service data on climate normals from 1981-2010.

Girisha Arora ’20 contributed reporting to this article.