It’s inevitable: we’re going to be talking a lot about winter weather and snow. We may as well get started.
We have talked about winter and its weather surprises in past years. Here’s what we said in the Patriot March 17 1992: “Snow Gets National Attention – 47.5 Inches in Four Days.” Fulton’s winter weather does come with a certain amount of notoriety. That storm was mentioned on The Weather Channel and a CBS national news broadcast.
When I talked to John Florek, Superintendent of the Fulton Waterworks, at the end of March this year, he said that the 2011-2012 snowfall total of 108 inches up to March 26 was less than half of 2010-2011’s total for the same date which was 217.4 inches.
He said the annual average total for the date is 170.4 inches. The record high for the date was 268.5 inches in 2004. That year the city ended up with a season-ending total of 272.3 inches.
The heaviest snowfall during last year’s winter season was 33.5 inches Jan. 29 and 30.
From The Patriot May 5, 2012: “When I called John Florek last week I asked about Fulton’s final snowfall figure for the 2011-2012 winter. John corrected me quickly. ‘As of yesterday, April 26, the total snowfall was 108.2 inches and we received a trace overnight’.”
John reminded me that we had a few days remaining in April, and “It has snowed here on Mother’s Day.” John said that was in 1996 and that year the city received 273.5 inches of snow.
John said that in addition to the 1996 Mother’s Day snowfall it had also snowed in Fulton during May in 1977, and in 2010 the last snow of the season was the one-half inch recorded on May 9.
Hope for the best, but be prepared for whatever the freezing temperatures, the Arctic winds, the snowstorms and the blizzards may send our way.
Here are a few of the times I have thought it necessary to mention snow in this column:
April 17, 1979: I was ready to write my last story of the 1978-79 snow year. But it wasn’t meant to be. Like my battered snow shovel, the worn out long johns, boots and snow tires, my calculator has had it. It was the 229th inch of Fulton’s winter that did it in.
January 13, 1981: I have my own battle plan for facing up to these winter mornings. I watch the neighbors while they’re getting their cars cleaned off. If a gloved hand or the windshield wipers can take care of the snow there is no problem. If they need a snow brush, have another cup of coffee. If they go get the broom put on an extra pair of socks. If they attack the car with a snow shovel go back to bed.
February 12, 1985: When we were kids we used to think that Syracuse had more snow than any other place in the world. We were wrong of course; when I grew up I moved to Fulton and found out that Fulton has more snow than any other place in the world.
February 4, 1986: I noticed while typing this that our little neighbor, Adam Schroeder, is using his plastic garden rake in the snow. The news from Adam could be good or bad. Maybe Adam thinks winter is far enough out of the way to put his rake into action. That’s good. Or maybe Adam is using his rake because his plastic shovel is buried in the four feet of snow next to the back steps. That’s bad.
During the 1985-86 winter season Fulton received 206.5 inches of snow.
February 23, 1993: I have been asked a lot of questions about snow the past two weeks. I am running out of answers. “Enough snow for you? Do you ever think it will stop snowing? Is it going to snow tonight? Is it going to snow this afternoon? Where am I going to put all this snow? How much snow have we got? Have we got more snow than Oswego? When are you going to shovel the snow? Why do you live in Fulton during the winter time? What is that big bump in the driveway, and where is the car?”
And the last one for now: February 12, 1996: Remembering the Blizzard of ’66: Former Patriot publisher Chet Rondo- manski said it best: “This is the way it’s going to be. Like a fishing excursion; you come back with an 11-inch small mouth bass, and before you can get through dinner it’s 24 inches. The first guy we sat with yesterday said the snow went up to his window, the next guy said that on his side of town the snow went over his garage door, and the third guy said the snow went right up to the roof of his house.”
Last week when I mentioned going to the Elmwood Theatre when I was a kid living on Syracuse’s south side, I also said that there were three other movie theaters that I could walk to from our house. One of those theaters was the Riviera, which I also walked to for many Saturday matinees.
To read the rest of the column, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397