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First snow chances this winter

Charlotte typically sees its first measurable snow by Jan. 9, but the best chance of seeing wintry weather will be in the North Carolina mountains.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — We’re halfway through meteorological winter, and yet there's been no snow in Charlotte. 

Meteorological winter runs the entire calendar months of December, January, and February. Jan. 9 is the average date of Charlotte's first snowfall. 

While last January brought Charlotte three separate snow events, so far this year Charlotte has nothing to show for it.

From coast to coast, snow is on the ground in the northern tier of the United States this week. Much of the South is currently shut out.

With no snow in the forecast for Charlotte, many people are wondering if there's a chance we could still get some snow. A look at the calendar tells us yes. 

Monday marks the average first snow for Charlotte, but that's just an average. Over the years, Charlotte has had measurable snowfall as early as Nov. 11 in 1968, and as late as March 13 in 1993.

🌩️ If you like weather, watch Brad Panovich and the WCNC Charlotte Weather Team on their YouTube channel, Weather IQ. 🎥

Based on 30 years' worth of climatology data, the annual amount of accumulated snowfall for Charlotte is 3.5 inches. However, snow averages are lowest during La Niña years because of a warmer and drier atmosphere. Those conditions are broadly present this winter. However, that doesn't make snow impossible, as WCNC Charlotte Chief Meteorologist Brad Panovich explained in his in-depth seasonal outlook.

A closer look at the monthly averages shows one-tenth of an inch of snowfall typically falls in November. Data shows nearly a half-inch of snow for Charlotte in December. The most snow typically occurs in January at more than an inch-and-a-half with totals slightly lower in February at roughly 1.1 inches. 

While monthly snowfall data does not make any guarantees, it proves snow cannot be ruled out even as late as March.

Official snowfall measurements are made for Charlotte at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

So far this winter, our best chance to see snow is a trip to the mountains.

Contact KJ Jacobs at kjacobs3@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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