Thursday, March 31, 2011

Not an onion snow

If I didn’t know that another 2-4 inches of snow was likely to fall tonight, I’d probably call last night’s trace of snow an onion snow. An onion snow is a common term in Pennsylvania, though apparently not used elsewhere. It’s a spring snow, and in my area it has to be the last snow of the year to be counted as an onion snow. It just so happens that the last snow of the season typically falls at the same time as farmers are putting in their onion sets for the spring.

Some people say an onion snow has to be measurable for it to count as a true onion snow. Some people say the onions have to be sprouted and above ground for it to count as an onion snow. Some people just like to see if they can make things difficult. I’ve always heard an onion snow is simply the last snow of the season (which just happens to usually fall about the same time as the onion sets are sprouting or going into the ground), and that’s the story I’m going to stick with.

By no means will a measurable snowfall tonight be the latest a measurable snow has fallen in this area, but a snow in April, especially a measurable one, is a tad unusual and probably doesn’t happen more than every 5-6 years, if that.

This year I will have snow for April Fool’s Day. That somehow seems appropriate for a winter that just doesn’t want to end. I just hope this is the last joke ol’ man winter gets to play on us this year.


jeannette said...

Onion snow -haven't heard that before, but I have an excuse -English is my 2nd language (Dutch is my first):)
The winter that does not want to end would have been a better title than I choose: Spring in reverse? for one of my last posts -
whatever it is, snow, rain, or sleet, hope you'll be arm inside this weekend:)

Woodswoman Extraordinaire said...

I am going to adopt your onion snow term. I sure hope the April Fools snow is the end of this year's seemingly interminable winter, too!

cathy said...

I wouldn't count on that. The way this year has been going! Be glad for maybe 4 inches of snow, I might still might get 8 inches. Rather just get nothing.