Hi. Figured I'd chip in my two cents since I work in meteorology and I did a couple years of research with lake effect precipitation.
Your areas around Osceola and Montague --- both towns in western Lewis County with no more than a couple hundred people - have the highest snowfall averages. Redfield borders them to the west, and since it has a grand total of about 600 people, it's better known than the other two.
You have to be really careful examining station data. for example, there are three automated stations off of Lake Ontario - KART (Watertown), KFZY (Fulton) and KSYR (Syracuse). KART and KSYR are fairly trustworthy since Syracuse has been at the airport for several decades. KART is pretty good because although the airport station has only been used for a few decades, there was another station only two miles east on the outskirts of Watertown, and that dates back about a century.
KFZY is a bit of an issue. It first began operation in 2002. The next best bet is to use the "Oswego East" co-op station eleven miles away, on the east side of Oswego City. But as anyone who lives in this area can tell you, there is a substantial different in lake effect climatology between the two cities (the way the wind direction that is most optimal for bands is different for Oswego and Fulton - and a few degrees change in wind off of the heat of the lake can make all the difference in the location and intensity of a band).
Lastly, to access much of this data, you have to access the data banks of the Northeast Regional Climate Center, which is based in Ithaca. Problem is, it costs money to access archive data.
Long story short, the data is hard to put together. So, I applaud Bellafinzi for working with what he can find, but there's no way we can expect it to be perfect. Offhand, I'd say it's fairly accurate.
On that note, here's an interesting story that I picked up along the way.
So, once in a while, a monster of a band forms, and these bands are known to dump as much as 10 inches per hour in extreme cases. Generally, they peter out within a few hours, but sometimes they don't. One of those cases was in Montague from January 11-12, 1997. An LES band dumped 77 inches in 24 hours
. That's taller than most people you meet.
Now, the national record is 75.8, set in Colorado in the 1920s. When it began to make news that New York might take the snowfall record, some folks in Colorado became extremely upset. You see, they thought it would harm their ski industry if they lost the title, and they asked their congressional delegation to prevent its loss. so during the Spring of 1997, there was a heated debate between Colorado and New York congressmen about who should rightfully have the title.
Finally, in may, the NWS came to a decision - the record would stay with Colorado. Why? The volunteer observers as Montague measured once every six hours - technically, volunteers are only supposed to measure total snowfall every twelve. So it was disqualified on technicality. So, that was your tax dollars at work, I guess.
And, for proof:
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ISSUES REPORT THAT EVALUATES JANUARY 11-12, 1997 MONTAGUE, N.Y., SNOWFALL