Winter 2014-15 Was Cold and Dry

OSWEGO, NY – The winter of 2014-15 is going into the record book a bit on the down side.

“Overall, it really wasn’t a biggie,” said Bill Gregway, local observer for the National Weather Service.

For purposes of record keeping, the seasons are broken into four three-month blocks with winter being December, January and February.

Spring officially arrives at 6:45 p.m. on March 20.

The average temperature this past winter was 22.6 degrees. That is 3.6 degrees below average, thanks in large part to the frigid February, Gregway noted.

“That’s no big deal,” he said. “It only tied for 17th place going back to the winter of 1853-54.”

Some cold winters include 2002-03 (23.4 degrees) and 2003-04 (24.3 degrees).

There were no records set last winter.

The highest temperature was 55 degrees on Dec. 1. The lowest was -5 degrees on Jan. 14 and Feb. 24.

“We had 24 days where the temperature was zero or below,” Gregway said.

Total precipitation was 8.78 inches. That is 1.64 inches below average.

Snowfall for the three-month period was 115.3 inches. That is 2.4 inches below average.

Overall, the snowfall stands at 132.4 inches (5.2 inches above normal), Gregway said, noting that November’s snowfall was eight inches above average.

“There is still about 12 inches on the ground on average,” Gregway said. “We have had at least one inch on the ground since Dec. 31. And, there was no January thaw this year.”

Snow pellets were recorded on four days as were ice pellets, and there were three occasions of freezing rain.

The number of cloudy days, 74, was five above average.

The number of partly cloudy days, 11, was five below average.

And, the number of clear days, five, was average.

The area received 23 percent of the possible amount of sunshine, which is average.

Measurable precipitation fell on 66 days. No precipitation was recorded on 24 days.

The most precipitation in a 24-hour period was 1.12 inches on Jan. 3-4.

The most snowfall in a 24-hour period was 15.2 inches on Dec. 10.

There was one thunderstorm day (very early Christmas morning), which is one above average.

The number of foggy days, three, was average.

The highest barometric pressure was 30.79 on Jan. 13 and the lowest was 29.27 on Dec. 25.

“There really wasn’t a lot of wind this winter,” Gregway said.

The strongest winds were west-southwesterly greater than 40 mph on Dec. 25 and also on Jan. 5, he noted.

“We had a green Christmas, with an early thunderstorm. Not much going on in January. February had some heavy snow and very cold temperatures,” Gregway said.

The average temperature for the winter of 2013-14 was 24.0 degrees.

Precipitation was about an inch below average and snowfall was about five inches above average.

There were only six days where it was zero or below.

Going back to 1855, the coldest winter is 1917-18 (17.5 degrees). The warmest is 2001-02 (34.4 degrees).

The snowiest winter on record is 1971-72 with 251.6 inches. The least snow for a winter is 29.4 inches during the winter of 1884-85.

“I guess you’d have to say this was a pretty good winter,” Gregway said. “December and January were alright and February had a lot of cold and snow. March is coming out of it – slowly.”