Cold was the headline during the winter of 2012-14

By Debra J. Groom

It looks like winter may be over.

Nuts, did that jinx it?

Well anyway, through April 22, Fulton has received 177.6 inches of snow, said John Florek, who keeps snow records at the city’s water department. The average snowfall through April 22 during the 38 seasons he has been keeping records is 179.6.

“We’re pretty darn close,” Florek said.

Even though temperatures have been mild of late, Florek said he doesn’t put away his snow records for the year until the end of May.

“We’ve had snow on a couple of Mothers’ Days,” he said. The latest snow he has on record is May 12, 1996, when the city picked up 1.5 inches.

That was part of an extreme winter that saw 273.5 inches pile up in Fulton. The least amount of snow in his 38 years of record keeping was in 1991 — a paltry 74.75 inches.

Carolyn Yerdon, who keeps weather records up in Redfield, said her area came in at 386 inches — and more than half of that was on the ground before Jan. 1.

“We still have some piles here on the lawn and you can find snow in the woods,” she said this week.

The record for snow in Redfield is the 1996-97 winter — a total of 420 inches of snow fell.

Both Florek and Yerdon said what made this winter seem to go on forever was it seemed to snow almost every day and there were periods of extreme cold.

Yerdon said Oswego County is used to temperatures below zero during the winter. But to have a run of many days of frigid temperatures is rare.

“We had minus 19 on Jan. 21, minus 18 on Jan. 22 and it continued through Jan 24,” she said. Jan. 25 saw 11 degrees, and then the temperature plummeted again to minus 11 on Jan. 26 and minus 19 on Jan. 27.

“That’s brutal,” she said.

Florek agreed.

“It was cold more than anything else,” he said. “There were no real drops of multiple feet of snow this year.”

In Oswego, the Port City ended with 154.5 inches of snow, a couple of inches above average, said weather observer William Gregway.

“We got a lot of lake effect,” he said, noting it also snowed early in the season and continued through April. “We had a white Thanksgiving, white Christmas, but not a white Easter,” he said.

He also agreed the cold really got people down this year. He said he talked to some construction workers recently who are doing sewer work in the city and they remarked that the frost was more than 3 feet down into the ground where they were digging.

 

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