What Is An Onion Snow?



This is the time of year when you might hear people talking about getting an “onion snow.” Despite its name, it actually has a lot to do with springtime. It’s a term that’s particular to the state of Pennsylvania, originated by the Pennsylvania Dutch culture and language. It refers to a snowfall that occurs after the spring onions have been planted and comes right as they're sprouting. Either way, the snowfall is defined as light and melts quickly. It’s usually the final snow of the spring season. With many parts of the country getting snow well into springtime, it makes perfect sense that specific regions would have their own colloquial terms for snows that hit around the time of planting crops. Another late-spring snow term to originate with the Pennsylvania Dutch is a “sapling bender,” referring to when it snows heavily in the spring, bending the branches of new saplings.