Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Last night it snowed...

...for about 15 minutes.

Fifteen minutes of light snow was just enough to leave a few patches on the ground last evening. Snow in this area on this date qualifies as a late snow, but it’s by no mean the latest. Measurable snows have fallen up until the last day of April here, and a trace of snow has been recorded into early May.

Still, the odds are that this little bit of snow will probably be our onion snow, which is what is what we call an early spring snow, usually considered to be the last snow of the season. Onion snows are so named as they come right when onions are pushing up in the gardens.

As I have always understood the term, an onion snow has to be more than just flurries. Flurries don’t count. The snow has to be at least lay on the ground, though it doesn’t have to be measurable. In some areas, apparently an onion snow is any snow that comes when the onions are up, but where I live an onion snow must also be the last snow of the season. Naturally, you don’t always know which little bit of snow is going to be the last snow of the season, so this gives the retired folks who meet for coffee at the local restaurants something to debate the next morning.

Perhaps you can also see in my photo today the flower stalk of the dog-toothed violet that will soon be in bloom. It’s not every year that I have snow on a flower stalk of anything, so I thought that was interesting enough to make it today’s photo.


Cathy said...

Well it's been on and off snow showers up here all day and it's cold too. A big Ugh!!!!!!

Onion snow, that's a new one.

Carolyn H said...

Cathy: I grew up with the phrase "onion snow" and so for many years assumed it was a commonly-known phrase. It is only recently that I've found it's not so common after all.

Carolyn H.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

No snow today—thank God! Cold though. I guess yesterday's snow was our "onion snow," or maybe not, this being Ohio. I have heard the term, though. Does anyone in your area ever speak of a "skift" of snow, or "hominy snow"?

Carolyn H said...

Griz: no, I've never heard the terms skift snow or hominy snow here. What do those terms mean?

Carolyn H.