First Snow in Indiana: The Earliest & Latest First Snows on Record

Written by August Croft
Published: November 26, 2022
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Knowing when the first snow typically happens in Indiana is valuable knowledge for those of you planning on visiting or moving to this state. With varying temperatures and snow averages depending on the region of the state that you are in, understanding the upcoming winter season in Indiana is key.

In this article, we will address the average first snow in Indiana alongside some out of the ordinary statistics. We will address some of the largest and smallest average snowfalls found throughout the state, as well as where you can go in Indiana to enjoy the snow. Let’s get started now!

Understanding First Snow in Indiana

first snow in indiana
Like many other states, the farther north you are in Indiana, the more likely it is you are to experience snow.

©Corrado Baratta/Shutterstock.com

Indiana Snow Facts
Earliest First SnowfallSeptember 25
Latest First SnowfallDecember 29
Average Temperature20-40 degrees Fahrenheit
Largest Average Snowfall140 inches (1978-1979)
Smallest Average Snowfall5 inches (1941-1942)
Places to Enjoy the SnowIndianapolis, Lake Michigan, Hoosier National Forest

Located remarkably close to the Great Lakes and Chicago, Indiana experiences frigid winters and somewhat mild summers. Like many other states, the farther north you are in Indiana, the more likely it is you are to experience snow. However, snow falls throughout the state of Indiana and even the bustling city of Indianapolis experiences an average of 20 inches every winter season. 

But when does the snow start falling in Indiana, and have there been any seasons with abnormal snowfall conditions? Let’s take a closer look at some statistics now. 

Earliest and Latest Snowfalls in Indiana

first snow in indiana
Snow falls throughout the state of Indiana and even the bustling city of Indianapolis experiences an average of 20 inches every winter season. 

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Records suggest that the earliest snowfall date in the entire state of Indiana occurred on September 25th. Snow fell on Fort Wayne, a town located in the northeasternmost quadrant of Indiana. September 25th is significant when you consider the fact that the average first snowfall date in Indiana occurs during the beginning of November more often than not! 

Speaking of the first snowfall date occurring in November, what about the latest first snowfall date in Indiana’s history? This statistic is staggering in comparison, with December 29th being the latest first snowfall date in this state’s history. However, the average first snowfall occurs sometime during the month of November, with the end of December being an out-of-the-norm date!

Largest and Smallest Snowfalls in Indiana

While the first snowfall date is important to know, how much does it actually snow in Indiana? The entire state receives some amount of snow throughout the wintertime, but during the 1978 to 1979 season, 140 inches of snow fell on Indiana. This is significantly higher than the average snowfall typically found during a winter spent in Indiana. 

For example, most locations in this state experience an average of 20 to 30 inches of snow, which makes 140 inches quite abnormal and extreme. At the other end of the spectrum, the winter season of 1941 to 1942 only saw 5 inches of snow. This is in direct contrast to Indiana’s average and likely made some impact on the state and local towns. 

Winter Temperatures in Indiana

first snow in indiana
Records suggest that the earliest snowfall date in the entire state of Indiana occurred on September 25th.

©Patrick Jennings/Shutterstock.com

Curious about what the average temperatures are like in the state of Indiana during the winter time? Broken down into a few different categories, here are the average temperature conditions across the state of Indiana, as well as how much snow these regions experience! 

Northern Indiana

With Fort Wayne located in the northeastern corner of the state and Lake Michigan bordering the top, northern Indiana has a lot to offer the average visitor. In terms of its average winter temperatures, it ranges anywhere from 20 to 37 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, Fort Wayne experiences an average of 25 inches of snow annually, depending on winter weather conditions. 

Central Indiana

Many people consider Indianapolis to be the center of Indiana, and this region of the state is slightly warmer compared to northern Indiana. Looking at the figures in more detail, Indianapolis averages roughly 23 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the wintertime and experiences an average of 20 inches of snow annually. 

Southern Indiana

With Kentucky bordering southern Indiana, the temperatures and average snowfall in this portion of the state are much milder compared to the rest of the state. In fact, southern Indiana ranges anywhere from 27 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter months and typically produces less than 10 inches of snow annually. 

Winter Wildlife in Indiana

first snow in indiana
Fort Wayne experiences an average of 25 inches of snow annually, depending on winter weather conditions.

©iStock.com/Byrdyak

There are a number of national forests and wildlife preserves found throughout Indiana. These locations typically offer visitors an up close and personal look at wildlife during the wintertime, though the Indianapolis Zoo will also give you a wonderful experience. Some wildlife that you can see in Indiana in the winter include:

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The Featured Image

Snow on a Witch Hazel Plant
Snow on a Witch Hazel Plant
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About the Author

I am a non-binary freelance writer working full-time in Oregon. Graduating Southern Oregon University with a BFA in Theatre and a specialization in creative writing, I have an invested interest in a variety of topics, particularly Pacific Northwest history. When I'm not writing personally or professionally, you can find me camping along the Oregon coast with my high school sweetheart and Chihuahua mix, or in my home kitchen, perfecting recipes in a gleaming cast iron skillet.

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Sources
  1. Characteristics of snowfall over the eastern half of the United States and relationships with principal modes of low-frequency atmospheric variability, Available here: https://journals.ametsoc.org/view/journals/clim/11/2/1520-0442_1998_011_0234_cosote_2.0.co_2.xml