Dreaming of a White Winter: Central New Yorkers Handle the Mild Weather

By Jocelyn Rhodes Cook, contributing writer
OSWEGO, NY – Look quickly, or you might miss it. A dusting of snow fell on many parts of the Oswego County Friday night.

Temperatures this weekend will remain cold enough for snow. However, things will warm up early next week and get back to normal.


Central New York is not exactly known for January and February days when you can sit out on your front deck and enjoy the nice weather.

A bright blue sky and a distinct lack of snow at the construction project at Lock One in Phoenix this early February were unexpected sights.
A bright blue sky and a distinct lack of snow at the construction project at Lock One in Phoenix this early February were unexpected sights.

But, this winter has been especially unusual for the people of the Greater Syracuse region, and residents have mixed feelings about the mild season.

Those who work and play in Oswego County have had to make the best of the situation, and the effects of the weather have reached many corners of life here.

Jackie Moore, of Pennellville, has not enjoyed the uncommon weather.

“I am angry that after it snowed a lot, I went snowmobiling for the first time and loved it! And then all the snow melted the next day,” she said. “No more chances to snowmobile until next year!”

One common sight in Oswego County, the enclosures used to store road salt at town buildings and other sites are always stocked and ready for the winter months.

Oswego DPW Commissioner Michael Smith said of the unused reserves, “We are stockpiling it for the next (winter) season. It has been very, very helpful that we haven’t had to use up all that we have.”

He added that the weather has been, “pretty amazing, for Oswego,” and has made it possible for workers in his department to catch up on a lot of things they probably would not have gotten to until later this spring.

“If this weather holds, we’ll continue to look for things that we can do to make it easier for us as we move into spring and summer,” Smith said. “I never run out of things to do, always seem to have a full plate. If the weather cooperates, we can do a lot of things that we wouldn’t normally think about doing this time of year.”

One project that has been able to move forward thanks in part to the nice weather is the lock construction project in Phoenix.

The project, sponsored by the New York State Canal Corporation (NYS Thruway Authority), was to rebuild the walls of Lock One in the village.

An unanticipated cave-in of the walls after the project began could’ve set back the progress of the project, but without the added hindrance of winter weather, the project is continuing smoothly.

Oswego County is not the only region to experience a very unusual winter this year.

Sara Siciliano, of Cedarhurst (Nassau County, Long Island), says downstate has experienced much of the same.

That county and the people who live there aren’t familiar with the sort of winters that are notorious to Oswego County. However, they too have noticed a significant difference in the season this year.

“A lot of people are saying that they love it, and it’s so warm!” she said. “But it’s been in the 60s the past few days and today it was freezing out. And now it’s snowing!”

Many Oswego County residents don’t see what all the fuss is about.

“I want to know why people are so moody about the weather! If it snows, people get angry because it’s too cold or difficult to drive. If it doesn’t snow, people are mad because they can’t snowmobile and they don’t get snow days,” said Kelsey Lord of Pennellville. “We live in New York. The weather is moody and temperamental. No matter what happens, someone is not going to be happy about it…just adapt to the change like everyone else does.”

Those who have been pleased so far with the mostly mild weather should be prepared for a wintry wake-up call the rest of this weekend.

According to local weather forecasters, with snow again in the forecast, it looks those who cherish every inch of snow will get a taste of the February weather they’re used to.