Publication Date November 14, 2016

Snow Cover Is Virtually Absent From the Lower 48 States, a Mid-November Record Low

United States
Image: The Weather Channel

Areal coverage of snow cover in the Lower 48 of the United States has shattered mid-November record lows, according to a government analysis.

Less than one-half of one percent of the land area of the contiguous U.S. had snow on the ground on the morning of Nov. 14, according to NOAA's National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center's National Snow Analysis.

Daily national snow analyses have been compiled by NOAA's National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center since 2003.

In their 14-year dataset, no first two weeks of November have featured so little snowfall in the Lower 48 states.[1]

Statistically, this November is in another league, so far. No single day in November 2016's first two weeks has had more than 2.9 percent of the Lower 48 States with snow on the ground. 

On average, by November 14, about 13.3 percent of the area of the Lower 48 states has snow on the ground. 

Looking at the 14-day mean from November 1 through 14, only 2007 comes nearly as close to 2016's snow dearth.


In a few locations, this is pushing the record for the latest season's first measurable snow.

  • Marquette, Michigan (NWS office in Negaunee Township): Nov. 19, 1994
  • Denver, Colorado: Nov. 21, 1934
  • Caribou, Maine: Nov. 23, 1994