Snow in August?

2013-08-29 22:34:58.000 – Ryan Knapp,  Weather Observer/Meteorologist

What 3 inches of snow looks like (taken Oct 2011)

Can it snow in August? Yes. Did it snow today? No, not this year. Do we typically see snow in August? Well…we can see snow in August; however, it is typically one of our least “snowiest” months. Our climatological average for this month is only a meager 0.1 inches (only July is lower with an average of a trace). And looking at years where snow was reported, most of the years had small amounts falling towards the end of this month. However, looking ahead for the rest of this month, measurable snowfall seems unlikely this year. While it won’t snow today or later this month, this wasn’t the case in the past. On this day in history (the 29th), our 24-hour and August snowfall record was set when 2.5 inches was recorded.

Now, for New England, 2.5 inches isn’t a lot of snow by any means. However, this meager amount shouldn’t be scoffed at as it may be more significant than it appears. As I was scrolling through my various Facebook wall feeds this afternoon, a post by the National Weather Service, Gray, ME caught my eye. It stated, “On this day in 1965 Mount Washington reported 2.5 inches of snow. This is a national record for the month of August.” This fact was also restated to us by two other guests that said they heard the same fact on the Weather Channel earlier in the day. So, I started to dig into it a bit deeper. I found another site that stated, “A national record for the month of August was established when 2.5 inches of snow fell atop Mount Washington NH. Temperatures in New England dipped to 39 degrees at Nantucket MA, and to 25 degrees in Vermont. For many location(s) it was the earliest freeze of record. (David Ludlum).” So it seems like our little amount of snow may be a national record for August; however, it seems a bit suspicious to me and as of this writing, I was unable to independently verify this fact any further. Regardless, it does go back to answer the original question: yes, the summit of Mount Washington can and has seen measurable snow in the month of August.


Ryan Knapp,  Weather Observer/Meteorologist

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