DOVER — Winter doesn’t officially arrive until Dec. 21, four days before Santa Claus does, but Delaware is poised to get its first taste of snow — albeit an inch or less — Wednesday morning.
“It looks like there’s a good chance to get a little bit of white, accumulating snow for Delaware on Wednesday,” said Patrick O’Hara, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Mount Holly, New Jersey. “I would say it’s a little early for Delaware to get its first snow of the season but not outrageously.”
Mr. O’Hara said that, while temperatures climbed into the 60s Monday, things will be entirely different when Delawareans wake up Tuesday morning.
“A good front is going to go through Delaware (Monday night), and temperatures are going to drop a good 25 degrees or so,” he said. “It’s going to be a rude awakening (Tuesday), going back to the 40s again.”
NWS is calling for mostly sunny skies Tuesday, with a high near 43 and a northwest wind of 5-10 mph.
Then, early Wednesday, things are expected to turn wintry for the first time this season, with snow likely to fall before 1 p.m., followed by a rain-and-snow mix.
Mr. O’Hara expects it to be cloudy, with a high near 38 Wednesday. The chance of precipitation is 60%, with snow accumulation of less than 1 inch possible, before temperatures sink to 26 that night.
Things are expected to return to normal Thursday, as mostly sunny skies are predicted, along with a high near 41.
Mr. O’Hara said the First State’s anticipated early brush with snow isn’t expected to set a pattern for a white-coated winter season.
“The official forecast for snow that came out (from NWS) was kind of for an ‘average-type’ winter,” the meteorologist said. “We didn’t really have anything startling high for expected snow totals — nothing more than average.”
Over the past 70 years, the average date for the first winter storm in Delaware has been mid-December.
And even if it does snow Wednesday, it will be far removed from the earliest snowfall on record.
That distinction belongs to Nov. 6-7, 1953, when 11.9 inches of snow was dumped on Wilmington, and the rest of the state recorded around 7-10 inches.
Not everyone is excited about the possibility of getting a first taste of snow this week.
“Give me 70 degrees and sunny any day of the week over snow,” said Tobias Hunter, while putting fuel in his truck at the Camden Wawa on Monday morning. “Knowing Delaware, the schools will be closed, and people will panic, and there won’t be any milk or bread left in any of the supermarkets.
“All for a couple of snowflakes.”