First Alert Weather In-Depth: Not so cold this October

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Overall, for the month of October our temperature have not been that bad.

Yes, we have had a few cold snaps, but overall the weather has been mild.

As of October 26, the month is running 3.3 degrees above average. Much of this is thanks to some really warm afternoons, but also our consistent mild nights. As we talked about earlier this week the mild overnight lows have prolonged our wait to see our peak fall color, and with that said we are yet to see our first recorded freeze for the 2023-24 winter season.

Usually we see our first freeze in the middle of October with it typically occurring on October 17. So far this month, and this season, we have yet to record a freezing temperature at the Rochester airport. No freezing temperatures are in the forecast through this weekend before our first forecasted freezing temperature pops up for Monday night’s low (Oct. 30). That low temperature for Monday night will not be recorded until October 31, and that is if we drop to the freezing mark. We do have a chance to hit the freezing mark the next two nights following, but we are moving closer and closer to our latest recorded low on record.

Now it’s still a while away as our latest recorded first freeze in Rochester is Nov. 14, 1938 but it is something to watch if we don’t hit the freezing mark early next week. If we don’t hit the freezing mark until Halloween, that will put us into the top 20 for latest first freezes on record here in Rochester. With that said, some people might think that if we have a late freeze that will be a sign for an easy winter.

Not so fast!

Overall, the data points to a pretty average winter, if not above average winter, for snowfall. Out of the current top 20 latest first freezes on record, seven out of the 21 (21 due to a two-way tie at rank 20), those following winters fell within the total snowfall range of 90-110 inches (which is around average). While six of the 21 had over 110 inches of snow during the Winter with a whopping 142.7 inches falling in the winter of 1970-71 and the first fall freeze that year lands in the top 5 as it occurred on Nov. 7 of that year.

That leaves only eight left, and six of those remaining eight fell within the 70-90 inch range. It’s slightly below average, but still a decent winter. The remaining two, 1932 and 1927, are the only ones with less snow on a late freeze. Specifically, 1932 is our lowest snow total recorded for a season as that only have a measly 29.2 inches. 

With all this said, our late freeze should lead us to a snowy winter, but we will see as there are a few outliers.

Get ready, though because our first freeze, and first snow, will be coming.