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

Written by August Croft
Published: November 26, 2022
© James Dillon/Shutterstock.com
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Given the location of our northeasternmost state, you may be wondering when the first snow in Maine typically happens. No portion of Maine avoids snowfall during the wintertime, but just how much snow does the state of Maine see during a given year, and what can you expect if you are moving there? 

In this article, we will go over when the first snow in Maine typically happens as well as some out of the ordinary statistics that illustrate otherwise. We will address some of the largest snowfalls as well as the smallest snowfalls in the history of the state and where you might go to enjoy a winter wonderland in the state of Maine. Let’s get started! 

Understanding First Snow in Maine

first snow in maine
The state of Maine averages roughly 90-110 inches of snow each and every winter season, making it a location that isn’t for the faint of heart.

©Allan Wood Photography/Shutterstock.com

Maine Snow Facts
Earliest First SnowfallSeptember 29 (1991)
Latest First SnowfallNovember 21 (2016)
Average Temperature4-35 degrees Fahrenheit
Largest Average Snowfall150 inches (1956-1957)
Smallest Average Snowfall20 inches (2021-2022)
Places to Enjoy the SnowCaribou, Portland, Baxter State Park

The state of Maine averages roughly 90-110 inches of snow each and every winter season, making it a location that isn’t for the faint of heart. However, being the most northeastern state of the United States, it only makes sense that Maine gets its fair share of snow and winter weather conditions!

But when are some of the earliest and latest dates for the first snow in the state of Maine? Let’s take a closer look at the statistics now. 

Earliest and Latest Snowfalls in Maine

first snow in maine
November 21st marked the first snowfall of the winter season, which is later than average for the state of Maine.

©Gary C. Tognoni/Shutterstock.com

Maine is no stranger to extreme winter weather, including first snowfalls that happen significantly earlier or later than average. In 1991, Maine experienced its earliest first snowfall on record, happening as early as September 29th. The average first snowfall in Maine typically occurs sometime during the beginning of November, making September an extremely early first snowfall date!

Speaking of abnormal snowfall dates, the latest first snowfall date in Maine occurred in 2016. November 21st marked the first snowfall of the winter season, which is later than average for the state of Maine. However, November is a normal month for snowfall in most other states, particularly the tail end of the month. Maine simply experiences more snow than the average state, their winter season often starting right at the beginning of November

Largest and Smallest Snowfalls in Maine

Bordered by Canada and sheltered by the coastline, Maine experiences varying amounts of snow depending on the local weather conditions of the region. However, Caribou, Maine is located in the northernmost portion of the state and experiences high levels of snow year after year. In fact, Caribou saw 150 inches of snow in a single season during the years 1956 and 1957. 

When it comes to limited snow levels, the coastline of Maine is likely to produce the smallest amount of snow compared to the rest of the state. In the winter season of 2021 and 2022, the coastline of Maine experienced roughly 20 inches of snow for the entire season, making this season one of the least productive in terms of snowfall. 

Winter Temperatures in Maine

first snow in maine
In 1991, Maine experienced its earliest first snowfall on record, happening as early as September 29th.

©rock ptarmigan/Shutterstock.com

Given its proximity to Canada and highly snowy regions of the United States, Maine experiences frigid winter temperatures without much relief. However, are all regions of Maine the same in terms of their average temperatures? Let’s take a closer look now. 

Northern Maine

Caribou is the most well-known town in northern Maine as well as the town that experiences high levels of snow each and every winter. The average temperature in Caribou is quite frigid, ranging anywhere from 4 degrees to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on storm conditions. 

Central Maine

Central Maine is slightly warmer compared to northern Maine, and the coastline of Maine will be even warmer! Bangor is located in Central Maine and its average temperature ranges anywhere from 10 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. This is still quite cold, but not nearly as cold as Caribou! 

Southern Maine

Portland is the most populated city in Maine and is located at the southernmost tip of the state. While Portland still experiences plenty of snowfall and winter weather conditions, the average temperature ranges anywhere from 15 to 35 degrees Fahrenheit, making it one of the warmer locations in the entire state. 

Winter Wildlife in Maine

first snow in maine
When it comes to limited snow levels, the coastline of Maine is likely to produce the smallest amount of snow compared to the rest of the state.

©Harry Collins Photography/Shutterstock.com

Given its proximity to many wild forests and natural areas, Maine is full of wildlife. While many creatures hibernate during the wintertime, you may spot the following animals should you choose to visit during the dead of winter: 

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The Featured Image

Old Speck Mountain in winter.
Old Speck Mountain is one of the less-traveled mountains in Maine but it has some truly spectacular views.
© James Dillon/Shutterstock.com

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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. Changes in late‐winter snowpack depth, water equivalent, and density in Maine, 1926–2004, Available here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/hyp.6111