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Lake Effect Bands Continue To Play Over Oswego County

 

Snowblowers roared to life for the first time in a long time on Friday. More than 8 inches fell in parts of Scriba. Up to a foot or more was reported elsewhere.

Snowblowers roared to life for the first time in a long time on Friday. More than 8 inches fell in parts of Scriba. Up to a foot or more was reported elsewhere.

Plows worked continuously to keep the roadways cleared and sanded.

Plows worked continuously to keep the roadways cleared and sanded.

This tractor-trailer ran into some problems trying to navigate on Route 104 west of the Port City. (photo provided by Harrison Wilde).

This tractor-trailer ran into some problems trying to navigate on Route 104 west of the Port City. (photo provided by Harrison Wilde).

 

The snow was so fierce that the city of Oswego began its winter parking ban – more than a   month later than usual.

The snow was so fierce that the city of Oswego began its winter parking ban – more than a month later than usual.

A male cardinal joins some other backyard birds for dinner in the snow.

A male cardinal joins some other backyard birds for dinner in the snow.

 

Old Man Winter shows off his artistic side by decorating this fence.

Old Man Winter shows off his artistic side by decorating this fence.

 

The snow made driving treacherous – especially when it blotted out stop signs.

The snow made driving treacherous – especially when it blotted out stop signs.

 

It was slow going along West First Street in Oswego – an all other parts of the county as   well.

It was slow going along West First Street in Oswego – an all other parts of the county as well.

 

Winter 2010 – 11 Was A Tad Colder, A Lot Snowier Than Normal

OSWEGO, NY – The Port City area has shrugged off another “long winter.”

“It was long in the fact that we had a little snow in November and December and January and February were pretty full,” according to Bill Gregway, local observer for the National Weather Service. “After that, things pretty much dried right up except for a couple of times.”

Spring finally arrived at 7:21 p.m. Sunday.

For the purpose of his reports, Gregway groups the seasons into three-month blocks with winter being December, January and February.

The average temperature was 25.1 degrees, which is 1.1 degrees below average.

“That puts us in a 3-way tie for 36th coldest winter – in the past 156 years,” Gregway said. “It looks like we’ll come in as about the 13th snowiest winter since 1884.”

The highest temperature was 58 degrees on Dec. 1 and the lowest was -11 degrees on Jan. 24.

Total precipitation for the winter months was 11.80 inches. That is 1.38 inches higher than normal.

There was precipitation on 73 days and no precipitation on 17 days.

The greatest precipitation in a 24-hour period was 2.52 inches on Dec. 1.

Snowfall for the 3 months, 171.8 inches, was 54.1 inches higher than average.

“We had snow pellets 15 times, a lot of lake effect,” Gregway said. “We had ice pellets 2 times and freezing rain on 4 occasions.”

The greatest snowfall in a 24-hour period was 12.0 inches on Jan. 5. There were a few more times when around 10 – 11 inches fell, Gregway added.

The greatest depth of snow on the ground was 38 inches on Feb. 10 and Feb. 12.

The number of cloudy days, 71, was 3 above average.

The number of partly cloudy days, 15, was 1 below average.

The number of clear days, 4, was 2 below average.

The area received 19 percent of the possible amount of sunshine. That’s about 10 percentages below where it should be, Gregway said.

There were 2 thunderstorms. That is 2 above average.

And, there were no foggy days, which is 1 below average.

Overall, it really wasn’t that cold of a winter Gregway observed. It was zero or below only twice, he said, zero on Jan. 17 and -11 degrees on Jan. 24.

The highest barometric pressure was 30.56 on Jan. 31 and the lowest was 29.22 on Dec. 13.

“We had a lot of wind. There were gusts of more than 35 mph on 4 days during February on the 8th, 12th, 14th and 19th,” Gregway said.

It was a “relatively normal” Oswego winter, Gregway said, adding, “We have had much colder and we have had much warmer.”

There is still a chance we will add to our snowfall total. The average snowfall for March is 19.3 inches and April’s average is 4.3 inches.

Oswego Mayor To Lift Winter Parking Ban Friday Morning

OSWEGO, NY – Mayor Randolph F. Bateman today (March 10), announced the suspension of the winter parking restrictions, effective Friday, March 11, at 12:01 a.m.

In accordance with the Oswego City Code, section 257-27, the mayor may suspend or remove the winter parking ban prior to March 31 at his discretion if winter conditions permit.

After consultation with the City’s DPW Commissioner and Police Chief, Mayor Bateman has made the decision to lift the winter parking ban in response to the improving weather conditions and the lack of snow in the immediate forecast.

Residents are asked to be aware of our unpredictable weather and to minimize parking on our streets in the event of any future snowfall.

Fulton – Neighbors Helping Neighbors This Winter

FULTON, NY – Fulton, New York, boasted itself as the “City With A Future.”

Nasty jokes were made about that.

This is but one example of the snow that residents of the West Second Street South area of Fulton and elsewhere have had to contend with this winter.

This is but one example of the snow that residents of the West Second Street South area of Fulton and elsewhere have had to contend with this winter.

The city has a great industrial past. Due to high taxes and, in my opinion, treasonous gifting of our industries and great minds to foreign countries our city had its potential stolen.

What Fulton lost in the demise of big industry and business it still maintains what many communities have lost: caring neighbors.

We’ve had almost 200 inches of snowfall this season.

The people on West Second Street South, between Broadway and Voorhees Street, worked together in plowing sidewalks and even driveways so that no one was stranded.

Our neighbors checked on each other as well.

The economy is bad; many people are in need of the basic things.

Our neighbors on West Second Street South in Fulton exemplify what the USA was meant to be.

Fulton, the City With A Future: People caring about each other.

Regards,

Mary Ann Klemenz

Winter Parking Advisory Announced In Oswego

OSWEGO, NY – Mayor Randolph F. Bateman has issued a “Winter Parking Advisory” due to our present snowfall and road conditions.

Therefore, until further notice we are requesting no parking on any city streets and no unnecessary travel.  This will aid city resources in clearing city streets.

According to Mayor Bateman, “Our first priority is clearing the streets for emergency services. By keeping our streets and our snow emergency routes clear, we will help facilitate emergency vehicle’s travel throughout the city. Living in the city of Oswego we are certainly no stranger to heavy snowfall, the citizens know what needs to be done and together, as a community, we will persevere.”

Also, the Oswego City School District is closed today (Feb. 10).

What Do Those Winter Weather Terms Mean?

OSWEGO, NY – Most of us have heard the terms weather forecasters throw around when talking about their craft.

However, what do they actually mean?

With snow in the air and the temperatures dropping, here are some terms and their definitions to help you be better prepared for most any weather situation that may pop up over the next few months.

The terms and their meanings are courtesy of Bill Gregway, local observer for the National Weather Service.

WINTER STORM OUTLOOK: This is a statement issued when there is a chance of a major winter storm from three to five days in the future.

It is meant to assist people with their long-range planning. Since the outlook is issued so far in advance, however, its accuracy may be limited.

WINTER STORM WATCH: This means that there may be hazardous winter weather due to various elements such as heavy snow, sleet or other factors.

Heavy snow, in the Oswego area, means seven inches or more accumulation in a 24-hour period or less.

A watch is a long-range prediction. It is usually issued at least 12 hours prior to the expected start of any dangerous winter weather.

When the storm becomes imminent, or has a very high chance of occurring, the watch is upgraded to a warning.

WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW: This means that seven or more inches of snow is expected to fall within a 24-hour period.

WINTER STORM WARNING FOR SEVERE ICING: A heavy accumulation of ice due to freezing rain, likely to down trees and utility lines.

Electricity and telephone service may be out for a long period of time. Roads may become impassable for most vehicles.

BLIZZARD WARNING: This is issued for a combination of strong winds, averaging or frequently gusting to, or above, 35 miles per hour, heavy snowfall, and very low visibility due to blowing or falling snow.

These are the most dangerous winter storms. They can be especially severe when combined with temperatures below 10 degrees.

WINTER STORM WARNING: This is issued when a dangerous combination of heavy snow, with sleet or freezing rain will occur or has a high chance of occurring within the next 12 hours.

HIGH WIND WARNING: This means to expect winds will average 40 miles per hour or higher for at least one hour. Or, that wind gusts will be greater than 58 miles per hour.

Trees and utility lines can be blown down.

A high wind watch may precede a high wind warning if the strong winds are not expected to be occurring for at least 12 hours.

WIND CHILL WARNING: This means life-threatening cold with windchill temperatures computed to be 40 degrees below zero or colder for at least three hours.

Exposure to this combination of strong winds and low temperatures without protective clothing will quickly lead to frostbite and/or hypothermia.

Long exposures can be fatal.

SNOW ADVISORY: This is issued for snowfalls greater than four inches, but less than seven inches, in a 24-hour period.

The heavy snowfall is usually expected to begin within the next 12 hours.

BLOWING SNOW ADVISORY: When the visibility is expected to be significantly reduced, or when the roads become snow-covered over a large area this advisory is posted.

WIND CHILL ADVISORY: This is issued for cold temperatures and winds, with wind chill temperatures computed to be 25 degrees below zero or colder for at least three hours.

Exposure to this combination of strong winds and low temperatures without protective clothing can lead to frostbite and/or hypothermia.

Prolonged exposure may be fatal.

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY: This is issued for a combination of snow, sleet, and/or freezing rain.

Advisories, in general, are issued for weather conditions that are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous.

These situations are normally not life threatening if caution is exercised.

WIND ADVISORY: This is issued average wind speeds between 31-39 miles per hour, or for frequent gusts between 46-57 miles per hour.

LAKE EFFECT SNOW WATCH: When there is a possibility of heavy lake-effect snow, accumulating seven inches or more in a 24-hour period, this watch is posted.

Lake effect snow usually occurs in narrow bands over limited areas.

The watch is issued at least 12 hours prior to the expected start of the heavy lake effect snow.

Its occurrence, location and/or timing are still uncertain, however.

LAKE EFFECT SNOW WARNING: This is issued when heavy lake-effect snow is occurring, is imminent or has a very high probability of occurring within the next 12 hours.

The snow is expected to accumulate at least seven inches with strong winds producing much higher drifts.

This is similar to a winter storm warning for heavy snow, except Great Lakes-induced squalls/showers occur in narrow bands and over limited areas.

Lake-effect snow can occur quite suddenly and cause blizzard-like conditions.

LAKE-EFFECT SNOW ADVISORY: This advisory is issued when Great Lakes-induced snowfall in western and central New York is expected to total between four to seven inches within a 12-hour period.

Blowing and drifting snow is also common in relatively limited areas and narrow bands.

SNOW SQUALL WARNING: This is issued in western and central New York when snow squalls originating from the Great Lakes are expected to accumulate at least six inches in a 12-hour period.

This is similar to a heavy snow warning. However, Great Lakes-induced squalls occur in narrow bands and over limited areas.

These squalls can occur quite suddenly and may cause blizzard-like conditions.

Oswego’s Winter Parking Ban To Start

OSWEGO, NY – The winter parking ban will go into effect at 1 a.m. Saturday.

It will remain in effect until further notice.

During such time as the winter parking ban is imposed, the parking of any vehicle on all highways and streets shall be prohibited between the hours of 1 a.m. and 6 a.m.

These restrictions may be suspended by the mayor at his discretion.

As has been done in past years, the Oswego Police Department will issue courtesy tickets for the first two nights only that the parking ban is in effect.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the mayor’s office at 342-8136.

Winter Parking Ban Doesn’t Automatically Start Dec. 1

OSWEGO, NY – The Mayor’s Office has received a few inquiries regarding the winter parking ban and whether or not it goes into effect on Dec. 1.

To clarify the matter, Resolution No. 232 was passed by the Common Council on June 8, 2009, and it amended the City Code, Chapter 257, Vehicles and Traffic Ordinance, to read as follows:

“The Mayor, at his discretion, may impose a winter parking ban commencing on or after Dec. 1 and continuing through March 31. The Mayor may, however, begin the winter parking ban prior to Dec. 1 at his discretion based on weather conditions. The Mayor may also suspend or remove the winter parking ban prior to March 31 at his discretion if weather conditions permit. During such time as the winter parking ban is imposed, the parking of any vehicle on all highways and streets shall be prohibited between the hours of 1 a.m. and 6 a.m.”

According to the Mayor’s Office, “The winter parking ban will not go into effect automatically on Dec. 1.”

The mayor will notify local media as soon as he makes the decision to implement the winter parking ban, and as always, courtesy tickets will be given on the first two nights of the parking ban.

Please note that on Dec. 1, the downtown parking lot restrictions will go into effect in the municipal parking lots, as posted.

Another Low Snow Winter Ahead?

OSWEGO, NY – Could we be in for another sub par winter?

According to Oswego’s observer for the National Weather Service, things are starting to shape up just like last year with a dearth of snow being a harbinger of the fate of winter 2010-11.

“We got our first real, measurable snow of the season on Saturday,” Bill Gregway said. “We have had some near-misses with a trace here and a trace there. But, on Saturday we got 0.6-inch.”

That pretty much all accumulated between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., he noted.

In a brief burst of lake effect Sunday morning, the area added another 0.1-inch.

That brings the month’s total up to 0.7-inch; well below the average snowfall (9.1 inches) for November.

Temperatures are expected to hit the lower 50s the next few days before becoming more seasonable later in the week.

The last snowfall (of the winter of 2009-10) was Feb. 28, Gregway said, adding, “We had gone 271 days without any measurable snow.”

The previous span was from April 8 through Dec. 1 for a period of 236 days.

The Oswego area is more apt to get late spring snowfall while Onondaga County often sees more late fall snow.

Fulton also received its first snowfall of the winter of 2010-11. Saturday had 0.5-inch followed by another 0.5-inch on Sunday to jump out slightly ahead of Oswego’s total.

Last year, there was no snow in November in Oswego. The month ended with just a trace. The first measurable snowfall was 1.3 inches on Dec. 1.

Fulton had a snow-free November.

In 2008, Oswego’s first snowfall was 0.1-inch on Nov. 10. The month ended with 28.3 inches. However, the season’s total was 29.3 inches. That is because Gregway counted the 1 inch of damaging hail that fell on Aug. 10 in the snow column, he explained.

Fulton received its first snowfall of the season (1 inch) on Nov. 16 that year. At the end of the month, the total was 46 inches.

Oswego’s first snowfall in 2007 was 0.1-inch on Nov. 18. It finished the month with 0.8-inch.

Fulton had its first snowfall on Nov. 7 (1.25 inches) and finished the month with 6 inches.

The first snowfall in 2006 for Oswego was a bit earlier – 0.5-inch on Nov. 3. It wound up with 3.9 inches by the end of the month.

Fulton’s first snowfall was also 0.5-inch; but it came a day earlier. And, it had 3.5 inches by Nov. 30.

Oswego jumped out to an early start in 2005 with its first snowfall on Oct. 27 (0.1-inch). It added another 10.4 inches in November for a seasonal total of 10.5 inches at Nov. 30.

The first snowfall for Fulton arrived Nov. 17 (2 inches). It finished the month with 14.5 inches.

Oswego received a trace of snow on Oct. 17, 2004. But the first measurable snowfall (1.4 inches) didn’t arrive until Nov. 9. The Port City finished the month with 6.9 inches.

Fulton’s first snowfall that year was almost equal to Oswego’s total for November. On Nov. 9, Fulton got hit with 6.75 inches of snow and finished the month with 12 inches.

Does November snowfall, or lack thereof, indicate how the winter snow will accumulate?

November 2009 had just a trace of snow and the winter of 2009-10 languished below 100 inches as the days of February wound down. It wasn’t until Feb. 25 that 5.1 inches fell pushing the monthly total to 22.6 inches and nudging the winter’s total to 101 inches.

A snow band marched across the area the following day dumping 12.7 inches to seal the deal.

Another 1.8 inches on the 27th and 1.5 inches on the 28th finished out the winter’s snowfall for a total of 117 inches.

History is on our side to have a similar winter play out over the coming months.

According to Gregway’s figures, November 1948 received just a trace of snow. For that winter, the total was 64 inches. In 1960, November again had just a trace of snow. That winter’s total stalled at 74.5 inches.

In 1966, Oswego had no snow in November (the only time that has happened, so far). The total for the winter came in at 92 inches.

“In 2001, there was also just a trace of snow for November. We wound up with 70.6 inches over the course of the entire winter,” Gregway said.

In the last 111 winter seasons, seven have been greater than 200 inches – with 251.6 in 1971-72 ranking as number one.

Fifty-three have been greater than 100 inches. Twenty-five have been between 80 – 99 inches.

Twenty-one have been between 60 – 79 inches. Two have been in the 50s and three were in the 40s with the least snowiest being 47.4 inches in 1932-33.

The 2011 Farmers’ Almanac is also predicting a “kinder and gentler” winter for the contiguous United States.

The Almanac foretells much colder-than-normal winter temperatures for the eastern third of the nation.

Does that mean less than average snowfall for Oswego? They didn’t say.

The average snowfall is 150.8 inches.

Winter 2009-10 Was Rather Mundane

OSWEGO, NY – If you blinked, you might have missed the winter of 2009 – 10.

“We only had three periods really of any heavy snowfall. The last was the worst as it was a heavy wet snow,” according to Bill Gregway, local observer for the National Weather Service.

The vernal equinox arrived at 1:32 p.m. on March 20.

Several flocks of birds head north under cloudy rainy skies recently. Winter ended with temperatures near 60. The first few days of spring have been rainy and cold.

Several flocks of birds head north under cloudy rainy skies recently. Winter ended with temperatures near 60. The first few days of spring have been rainy and cold.

However, for the purpose of his reports, Gregway breaks the seasons into three-month blocks with winter being December, January and February.

The average temperature for the winter of 2009-10 was 27.5 degrees, which is 1.3 degrees warmer than average.

The warmest winter on record, since 1853-54, is 34.4 degrees set in the winter of 2001-02. The coldest was 17.5 degrees in 1917-18.

The highest temperature was 55 degrees on Dec. 2 and the lowest was -6 degrees on Jan. 30; it was the first below zero since -2 degrees on March 6, 2007.

There were no records set this past winter, Gregway noted.

“We haven’t had too much lately on the cold side. We have been warming up the past few years,” Gregway said of recent winters’ temperatures.

From Jan. 2 -14 the temperature was at or below 32 degrees.

There were 2 times when the temperature plunged below zero; both were in January, the 10th and the 30th.

Total precipitation for the winter was 10.46 inches, which is 0.04-inch above average.

The greatest precipitation in a 24-hour period was 1.30 inches on Feb. 25-26.

The total snowfall was 117 inches, which is 0.7-inch below average.

February 25-26 also saw the greatest snowfall in a 24-hour period, 17.8 inches.

“We were just slightly over average in precipitation and just about normal for snowfall,” Gregway observed. “We didn’t get any snowfall until December.”

The first measurable snowfall was on Dec. 1.

“We did manage to have a white Christmas, there was 2 inches on the ground,” Gregway said. “And, we had frozen fog on Dec. 27th.”

From 10 p.m. Jan. 1 to 10 p.m. Jan. 3, there was continuous lake effect snow, Gregway said. That amounted to 17 inches – and melted down to 0.90-inch of water.

“On Jan. 4 we had 19 inches of snow on the ground,” he said. “That’s the greatest depth we had all winter.”

There were 10 consecutive days of snowfall, Dec. 28 to Jan. 6, which totaled 38.8 inches.

“That was our heaviest snowfall for the winter,” Gregway said. “We got 8.3 inches of heavy wet snow on Feb. 25, which resulted in the first ‘snow day’ of the year for local schools.”

For the winter (September to May), the average snowfall is 150.8 inches. Through March 21 for that timeframe, the snowfall (117 inches) is 29.5 inches below average, Gregway added.

The number of cloudy days, 75, was 7 above average.

The number of partly cloudy days, 13, was 3 below average.

The number of clear days, 2, was 4 below average.

Sunshine came in at 18 percent of possible. That’s 15 percentages below normal, according to Gregway.

There were 70 days with measurable precipitation. There were 20 days with no precipitation.

It was an average winter for thunderstorms, with none.

However, the number of foggy days, 3, was 2 more than normal.

The winter months had 11 days with snow pellets, 4 with ice pellets and 3 incidents of freezing rain.

The highest barometric pressure for the winter occurred on Dec. 12 (30.47) and the lowest was just a few days before that (29.08 on the 9th).

The strongest winds were greater than 55 mph on Dec. 28.

For the winter of 2008-09 the average temperature was 0.8-degree below average. There were no below zero readings.

Precipitation was 0.57-inch above average.

And, snowfall was 6.7 inches above average.

Based on the lack of snow in November, Gregway predicted this winter would come in with less than 100 inches of snow. The other times there was a snowless November, the winter failed to reach the 100-inch plateau.

“My forecast was pretty close. We’re just 17 inches over,” he said. “We only had 3 big snowy periods. Other than that, we came out pretty close to being average.”

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Fulton Rotarians Help Out Salvation Army

The Fulton Noon Rotarians were made aware in late winter that the two community food pantries, one at the Salvation Army and one at Catholic Charities, were in need of more food supplies than were being donated. The Rotarians took action and each Rotarian donated funds each week to the two organizations to help them buy food.

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The British Are Coming To Harborfest!

Come to Oswego’s historic harbor to witness a re-enactment of the Battle of Oswego during the 27th annual Harborfest. The action begins at 2 p.m. on Saturday. “We will have a few ships and a gunboat in the harbor, including Oswego’s own OMF Ontario, engaging with Fort Ontario to re-create this event,” said Steve Fulton, director of Oswego’s Harborfest. “There will be action from the east breakwall to the west bluff, so people can line up anywhere along to harbor to watch the battle.”

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Midway Drive-In Seeks Help Of Community To Rebuild

While we have been questioning the future of the drive-in there has been a seemingly endless stream of automobiles pulling over to the side of the road or pulling into the driveway with folks getting out of their cars to stand quietly and to gaze upon the mangled screen tower, as though at a wake paying their final respects; many capturing photos for remembrance. There has been an amazing outpouring from the community through personal emails, visits at the theatre and through social media.

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Long-Time District Clerk Announces Retirement

After more than 20 years on the job, William Foley will step down next month from his position as clerk for the Oswego City School District. Foley, who also acts as the district’s public information officer, said he applied for the position because the ad said they were looking for someone to help promote the school district – something the OHS grad felt he could do well.

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Mayor Gillen Announces Appointment of Zoning and Planning Director

Oswego Mayor Tom Gillen is pleased to announce the appointment of Amy L. Birdsall as the Zoning and Planning Director for the city of Oswego. She will lead the Zoning and Planning Department. Her responsibilities will include overseeing city land use policies, zoning administration, and planning and development efforts.

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