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Winter Ends Before It Ever Really Started

OSWEGO, NY – Old Man Winter pummeled the area with 2.3 inches of snow over the weekend. There was no snow on the ground up to that point.

Dating back to the winter of 1899 – 1900, the Port City area has seen 59 winters with less than 100 inches of snow. There was one with 100 inches even.

If no more snow falls in Oswego, the winter of 2011 – 2012 would wind up at number 106 on the list of all time snowiest Oswego winters.

This winter has been for the birds. With very little or no snow on the ground for most of the season, they have had little trouble finding anything to eat.
This winter has been for the birds. With very little or no snow on the ground for most of the season, they have had little trouble finding anything to eat.

It fares much better on the least snowiest list – coming in at number 5 with just 56.1 inches.

It is ahead of just 54.0 inches in 1934/35, 49.5 inches in 1918/19, 48.0” in 1952/53 and the all time low (for this timeframe) of 47.4” in 1932/33.

Rounding out the current top 10 we find:

Number 6: 59.5”  (1961/62)
Number 7: 61.3”  (1906/07)
Number 8: 62.3”  (1912/13)
Number 9: 63.8”  (1943/44)
Number 10: 64.0” (1948/49)

And just 0.8-inch behind is Number 11: 64.8” (1953/54).

This winter’s snow total is less than half the 150.8 inches we get on average – and the winter is more than half over.

While most of the low snow totals accumulated in the first half of the last century, a handful are rather recent.

There was only 70.6 inches in the winter of 2001 – 2002. The winter of 1999 – 2000 came in with just 76.6 inches.

The winter of 1994 – 1995 received 99.5 inches. And, the winter of 1986 – 1987 had 91.8 inches. The winter of 1982 – 1983 totaled 72.6 inches.

Less than 100 inches of snow fell for the winter seven times in the 1900s. For the 1910s, it was six times. In the 1920s, five times. For the 1930s, it was nine times.

During the 1940s, it was six times. In the 1950s, it was nine times. For the 1960s, it happened four times.

In the 1970s, every winter had more than 100 inches of snow. Four of them had more than 200 inches – including the top three snowiest winters: 251.6 inches in 1971 – 1972 and 243.2 inches in 1976 – 1977 and 231.6 inches in 1977 – 1978.

The 1980s had two winters of less than 100 inches of snowfall. The 1990s also had two. That decade also saw two winters with greater than 200 inches of snow -1993 – 1994 with 203.8 inches and 1995 – 1996 with 229.9 inches.

For the most part, our lawns looked like this in January. Grass can still be seen poking through the little more than an inch of snow we received in this past weekend's "storm."
For the most part, our lawns looked like this in January. Grass can still be seen poking through the little more than an inch of snow we received in this past weekend's "storm."

And so far this millennium, only one winter has had less than 100 inches of snow. Ironically, that was 70.6 inches in 2001 – 2002; which followed the seventh and last time the area was hit with more than 200 inches of snow – 204.3 inches in 2000 – 2001.

The winter of 1935 – 1936 is the only one to have 100.0 inches even.

From 1899 – 1900 through 1962 – 1963 there were only five times when we had back-to-back winters of more than 100 inches of snow.

The winter of 1970 – 1971 was the first to crack the 200-inch plateau and the following winter (251.6 inches) stands as our all-time snowiest.

This winter was so mild, the Oswego winter parking ban was lifted on Feb. 18. It only started on Jan. 14.

For the last three years it has been lifted in March – March 11, 2011; March 9, 2010; and March 6, 2009.