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Old 10-22-2010, 12:55 PM
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I posted this once before, but now is buried in an old thread.

Just thought I'd give this map its own thread so folks can find it.

A map of the estimated snowfall in the Syracuse area.

-The red X is downtown Syracuse.
-Due to the influence of Lake Ontario, the more north you travel, the more lake effect snow.
-The City of Syracuse average between 95 and 110 inches of snow.
-The northern suburbs average between 110 and 130 inches.
-The western suburbs average 90 to 105.
-Eastern burbs average 95 to 110.

Every year is different though and these are only my inaccurate estimates averaging over the last 30 years.
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:04 AM
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Cool map.....I wonder if you can find one for other areas too?
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:37 AM
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Nice map. The city receives about the same amount of snow as Rochester, on average. I wish they would move the measurement station from Hancock Airport to downtown Syracuse's Clinton Square.
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:50 PM
Location: Auckland, NZ
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Meteorology major @ Oswego

You have Oswego in the 155-160 inch range. Few things wrong with this.

1. Oswego City averages about 130 inches a year.

2. Because of its proximity to the water, Fulton typically receives more snow than Oswego. Fulton's 15 year average is about 180 inches.

An appropriate graph for the area between Oswego and Fulton in Oswego County:
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Old 11-13-2010, 04:21 PM
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Dreamshot, I know my snowfall map is not the most accurate map. The map does a poor job detailing Oswego County. That wasn't my intent when I set out to do the map though.

The map I created is mostly telling the snowfall story of Syracuse and its suburbs or rather the northern half of Onondaga County. I included Oswego County only to show how much snowfall totals increase the further north you go... closer to the snowbelt.

It is my understanding that the snowfall actually increases slightly in the hills of Tully and Otisco south of Syracuse...you wouldn't get that impression looking at my map either. My focus was from Brewerton to Nedrow, and Skaneateles to Cazenovia.

I tried searching the internet for the historic snowfall data for Syracuse prior to 1950 when our weather station was downtown (today it is located at the airport) and came up empty. If anyone finds that data I'd love to see a link to it.

I did the best with the very limited snowfall data for Onondaga County I had available at the time.

Some of the snowfall data and information I managed to gather was conflicting.... so my estimates are inaccurate, like I said.

If I could find a detailed map of snowfall for Onondaga County, I would have posted it...all I could find were maps of all of Upstate NY zoomed out so much you couldn't see the snowfall difference between downtown and the airport.

Here is a snowfall map which shows all of New York State.

One for the entire northeast.

Here is what Channel 3 Chief Meteorologist Wayne Mahar said......he was probably exaggerating a little

Any one who has lived in central New York for more than one winter knows the dramatic difference in amounts of snow “north of the Thruway” primarily due to the prevailing wind direction. The average snowfall at Hancock Airport and northern Onondaga county is in the 115 – 130” range per winter. There are no official records for downtown Syracuse, but I’ll bet the average snowfall downtown is more like 70 or 80”. So, you can see the problem here with snowfall records, downtown vs. airport.
Syracuse weather records: downtown or airport : News : CNYCentral.com
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Old 11-13-2010, 07:50 PM
Location: Auckland, NZ
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Gotcha. I think you did a fine job on the Onondaga County part. I don't even necessarily agree with that 1971-2000 Average map....It has Oswego up for almost 152 inches....that MAY be Fulton's average since our ASOS is at Fulton/Oswego County airport.

With the lake effect bands, there is a tendency for heavier snow a bit further inland as opposed to right on the lake front. That, combined with the fact that Oswego is typically a few degrees warmer than Fulton, is why Fulton receives more snow annually.

The difference between Fulton and Clay / Baldwinsville can be quite astonishing as well.
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:40 AM
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I don't know how helpful a finely gradated map is though. For me, the way I explain it to people is simple:

South of the Thruway: Snow.
North of the Thruway: Lots of snow.
Oswego County: An exceedingly large amount of snow.
Mexico, Fulton and Parish: Astoundingly large amounts of snow.
Redfield: Absolutely epic amounts of snow.

I'm sure there is a remote abandoned gas station somewhere northeast of Redfield that gets absolutely apocalyptic amounts of snow, but that's splitting hairs a bit.
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Old 11-27-2010, 01:27 PM
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Best description EVER. lol!
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Old 11-28-2010, 12:05 AM
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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:
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:06 AM
Location: Auckland, NZ
715 posts, read 2,498,704 times
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Interesting story, vicarian. Where do you work?
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