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September 21, 2018

A Nice Fall Gives Way To Mild Start of Winter


OSWEGO, NY – Old Man Winter returns at 11:38 p.m. on Monday – the first day (22 minutes, actually) of the winter season. Or is it?

A male cardinal braves the snow. Warmer weather will return for the holidays.

A male cardinal braves the snow. Warmer weather will return for the holidays.

Temperatures Monday are expected to be near 45 and Tuesday’s high about 50 with showers both days. Wednesday’s outlook is breezy with more showers and a high of 55. On Thursday, Christmas Eve, it’ll seem more like spring with rain and highs flirting with 60!

Christmas Day things get cooler again – temperatures plunging into the lower 40s.

At least we’ll have a pleasant autumn to look back on.

For record keeping, the National Weather Service breaks the seasons into 3-month blocks with fall being September, October and November, according to Bill Gregway, local observer for the NWS.

Winter arrives Monday night, the winter solstice, with a stretch of  unseasonably mild weather, Gregway said.

The average temperature for fall 2015 was 54.5 degrees. That is 3.3 degree higher than average. Going back to 1969, this is the third warmest fall on record, he said.

The warmest is 55.2 degrees in 2011. In second place are 2001 and 1999 each coming in at 55.1 degrees.

The highest temperature was 89 degrees on Sept. 7. The lowest was 24 degrees on Nov. 30.

“We tied 2 high temperature records, on the 4th and 5th and on the 6th (of November) we missed a tie by just 1 degree,” Gregway told Oswego County Today. “It was a rather warm and dry season.”

September was the 5th warmest and November was the 4th warmest, dating back to 1855, Gregway added.

Total precipitation, 10.16 inches, was 2.25 inches below normal.

The greatest precipitation in a 24-hour period came on Sept. 30 – 1.52 inches. Also in September, on the 12-14, the area received 2.0 inches.

For the year, precipitation was 34.22 inches at the end of fall. That is 4.91 inches below average, Gregway pointed out.

Snowfall came in at just 3.0 inches. That is 6.5 inches below average.

The fall of 1976 holds the dubious honor of being the snowiest – 38.0 inches. Recently, fall of 2008 came in with 29.3 inches.

In 1966, the fall was snow-free. And, just a trace was recorded in the falls of 1948, 1960 and 2009.

“We had 41 days when measurable precip fell and just 50 with no precip,” Gregway said.

Fall 2015 was a bit “clear,” he added.

The area received 51 percent of the possible amount of sunshine. That is 10 percentages above average.

The number of cloudy days, 45, was 2 below average.

The number of partly cloudy days, 25, was average.

The number of clear days, 21, was 2 above average.

There were 3 thunderstorms last fall. That is 1 below average.

And, there were 4 foggy days. That is 2 above normal.

The highest barometric pressure was 30.67 on Nov. 25. The lowest was 29.35 on Nov. 12.

The strongest winds were west-northwesterly at more than 40 mph on Sept. 9.

“The other months had some wind as well. A lot of them were in the 30s,” Gregway said.

“The first 32 or lower that we had was 30 degrees on the 18th of October, the end of our growing season,” Gregway said. “The growing season ran from April 25 (32 degrees – last frost) through Oct. 18; 175 days. That (Oct. 18) was also our first measurable snowfall (0.3-inch).”

The average growing season here is 182 days.

In 1998, the growing season last 251 days, he pointed out.

Overall, it was a pleasant, dry fall, Gregway said.

“We got a little snow – but it melted away in a day or so,” Gregway said. “Looks that warm trend is going to continue and we’ll have another green Christmas this year.”

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