GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The first snowfall of the season is expected this week, set to come down early Wednesday in varying amounts depending on how far north you go. Those amounts include a forecast 2″-4″ in the Glens Falls region, and as much as 4″-6″ in the Lake George-North Creek area. Those amounts vary up and down looking further into the Adirondacks.

That’s not a recipe for a full-on explosion of winter snowfall, but it will be the first few inches of accumulation of the year. From Glens Falls and Lake George on north, the Adirondack park is a roughly 9,375-square-mile chunk of New York State full of small towns and large mountains; lakes that affect snowfall; and winding roads where drivers can run into hazards if they’re not prepared. Here’s some of what to know about winter in the North Country.

Average snowfall

The Adirondack region’s size and range of sloping mountains mean that snowfall will vary depending on a lot of factors. Airports often serve as an ideal monitoring point for weather phenomena of all kinds, and the cold and flaky kind is certainly no different. Here are the stats from three airports from different spots along the map, according to WeatherSpark.

  • Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport
    • Location: Queensbury (Warren County)
    • Average November snowfall:
      • Nov. 1: 1″
      • Nov. 11: 2.3″
      • Nov. 30: 6.8″
  • Plattsburgh International Airport
    • Location: Plattsburgh (Clinton County)
    • Average November snowfall:
      • Nov. 1: 0.7″
      • Nov. 11: 1.6″
      • Nov. 30: 4.9″
  • Adirondack Regional Airport
    • Location: Saranac Lake/Harrietstown (Franklin County)
    • Average November snowfall:
      • Nov 1: 3.4″
      • Nov. 11: 5″
      • Nov. 30: 8.3″

As for the season at large, it varies just as much. Snowfall can start as early as October, and as late as April. In some places, that window expands as early as September, and as late as May, in some cases. Monthly averages across the winter by airport:

  • Floyd Bennet Memorial Airport
    • October: 0.2″
    • November: 3.1″
    • December: 10.5″
    • January: 12.5″
    • February: 12″
    • March: 7.4″
    • April: 1.2″
  • Plattsburgh International Airport
    • October: 0.1″
    • November: 2.1″
    • December: 7.4″
    • January: 7.3″
    • February: 8″
    • March: 5.8″
    • April: 1.1″
  • Adirondack Regional Airport
    • September: 0.1″
    • October: 1.4″
    • November: 5.7″
    • December: 10.2″
    • January: 9.6″
    • February: 10.3″
    • March: 9.2″
    • April: 4.4″
    • May: 0.6″

Safe travel and safe living

Once the winter sets in, combatting icy roads is a fight that won’t see its last spear chucked until spring. Traditionally, rock salt has been deployed on roads as they get covered in snow and ice, to cause ice breakup and minimize large slippery patches.

In more recent years, the tactic has changed. Since the winter of 2020-21, Warren County has deployed brine, a salt-and-water solution that uses less salt than the traditional method. Brine is employed on roadways before a large wave of winter weather. The salt soaks into pavement, stopping ice from ever forming in the first place.

Whether brine or rock salt, roads in the Adirondacks still promise a difficult time for any driver not prepared. Adirondack.net makes several recommendations for how to drive safe in the winter months. They include:

  • Purchase tires with a low temperature grip rating, as well as tread patterns designed to keep snow from accumulating and clumping
  • Invest in sturdy windshield wipers that can stand up to keeping snow and slush off your windshield
  • Keep an ice scraper and brush, shovel, jumper cables, flashlight and road salt or sand in your vehicle at all times during the winter
  • Keep your gas tank at least halfway full, in case you get stuck or lost
  • Keep further from other vehicles than normal while driving

Finally, plowing services can vary by where you are. Across the Adirondacks, plowing services may be provided by state, county or local governments, often with help from local private businesses.

Keep an eye on news10.com for a look into the snow ahead throughout the winter.