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October 18 2015

Snowflake sightings reported in Boston

A flurry of tweets about snow were popping up on Twitter on Sunday.

A few flakes in Boston not an unusual sight in October, but still.

A few flakes in Boston not an unusual sight in October, but still.

Flickr/liz west

Photo:

Oh no. Not yet!

The Boston Twitterverse was reporting seeing snowflakes in the city on Sunday.

They may be right,  according to Alan Dunham, Taunton-based meteoroligst for the National Weather Service.

"We have some very cold air aloft, so even though we started off with bright sunshine and we got some heating, we have these afternoon showers and some flurries," Dunham told Metro. "It's not going to accumulate into anything. ... Most everything that falls will melt on contact or shortly thereafter."

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Dunham said he hadn't seen signs of snow in Boston yet, but confirmed there had been some flakes flying in areas across the state, with sightings in Middlesex and Worcester counties.

Snow this early wouldn’t exactly be unprecedented. The earliest measurable snowfall on record in Boston came Oct. 10, 1979, when 0.2 inches of the stuff fell, according to stats compiled by Weather Underground. Even earlier than that, the earliest-in-the-season snow — un-measurable “trace amounts” of it —0 came Oct. 2, 1899, according to a report from MIT.

Last year, the first flakes, and flake-inspired online freakouts of the season came to Boston Nov. 2.

The anticipation of snow was particularly tense this season, with winter preparedness work underway on the T and new plows and heaters ready to be deployed. It still feels like only yesterday the apocalyptic storms were delivering punishing, record-smashing piles to the Hub.

But don't expect to be digging out your car anytime soon, and don't expect to see snow delays on the Commuter Rail yet. But just wait. Enjoy it while it's cute and see if you can't spot one in Boston before it melts away, and brace yourselves for the real deal.

RELATED: Winter work on the T ahead of schedule, leaders feeling confident

That is, unless you’re up on Mount Washington in New Hampshire, like Mount Washington Observatory Meteorologist Tom Padham. On his perch he saw the summit’s first snow of the season on Saturday – at least two inches, he wrote on observatory’s website.

The flakes came after some very chilly temperatures in Greater Boston. The NWS was issuing a freeze warning for Sunday night into Monday morning.

The sightings didn’t exactly fit the bill for the state’s mid-autumn celebrations usually filled with precipitation of the leafy variety.

Plus who wants to see flurries at a post-summer celebration of oysters, like revelers at the Wellfleet Oysterfest did? No one, that’s who.

The Massachusetts Oyster project at least had a good attitude about it.

“Doesn’t stop the party for us hardy Cape folks,” the nonprofit tweeted.

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