Winter weather recap: Warm, with near-record low snowfall

An Oswego city employee clears the sidewalk in front of city hall during the Feb. 7 snowstorm. The blizzard was one of the few major weather events in an "anomaly" winter.

OSWEGO — Spring has sprung as of March 19 and weather experts from SUNY Oswego say we’re coming out of an “anomaly” of a winter with near-record snowfall lows.

The city of Oswego has recorded 49.5 inches of snow so far this snow season, beginning Oct. 1. That’s the second lowest since The Palladium-Times began keeping records in 1927.

According to Dr. Scott Steiger of the SUNY Oswego Lake-Effect Storm Prediction and Research Center, it’s unlikely the area will receive another significant amount of the white stuff before the weather permanently turns.

“It looks like you can put a fork in this winter,” Steiger told The Palladium-Times recently.

This winter was above average in terms of temperature as well, Steiger said, but exact local figures are still to be calculated. New York and the rest of the northeast United States from Maine to Maryland recorded all-time high temperatures in the December-January span, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The federal agency predicts spring will likely be warm and wet also.

While Oswego is usually near the top of cities in the nation — let alone New York — in terms of snowfall, that wasn’t nearly the case this season.

“It might be the first time in a long time that Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse not only beat Oswego, but killed Oswego (in terms of snowfall),” Steiger said.

According to the Golden Snowball Trophy Contest, an informal online competition between upstate New York’s five major cities, Rochester’s 87.2 inches and Syracuse’s 76.6 inches dwarf Oswego’s 49.5 inches. The contest draws its information from the National Weather Service.

Steiger said part of the reason for the warm climate could be the behavior of the polar vortex, a circulation of air that spins over the North Pole and occasionally spills over to other areas. Steiger said that “spillage” hasn’t occurred this year but scientists haven’t come up with a conclusive reason why.

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