Winter of 2012-13 was less than typical

OSWEGO, NY – Well, a typical Oswego winter it wasn’t, according to Bill Gregway.

The local observer for the National Weather Service reports that the winter of 2012-13 came in at more than 4 degrees warmer than average and with a lot less snow.

The area did get some nice winter weather to enjoy, as seen in this photo from Great Bear, provided by Dick Drosse.
The area did get some nice winter weather to enjoy, as seen in this photo from Great Bear, provided by Dick Drosse.

For the purpose of his reports, the NWS breaks the seasons into 3-month blocks with winter being December, January and February.

Spring begins at 6:02 a.m. on Wednesday, Gregway noted.

The average temperature for the winter 2012-13 was 30.3 degrees. That is 4.1 degrees warmer than average, Gregway said.

Dating back to 1843, that’s not really a big deal, he said, adding that this winter only ranks as the 11th warmest on record.

By comparison, the winter of 2011-12 tied for 3rd warmest.

The winter of 2012-13 did have 2 records – 68 degrees on Dec. 4 and 61 degrees on Jan. 30.

The highest temperature was 68 degrees on Dec. 4 and the lowest was -3 degrees on Jan. 24.

For the winter, only 2 days were zero or below. It was -2 degrees on Jan. 23 and the next day it fell to -3 degrees.

Total precipitation for the winter was 12.54 inches. That is 2.12 inches above average.

Measurable precipitation fell on 70 days and no precipitation fell on 20 days.

The greatest precipitation in a 24-hour period was 1.26 inches on Feb. 27.

“We also got 1.09 inches on Dec. 21 and 1.03 inches on Dec. 27,” Gregway said. “Both of those were melted snowfall. That’s why our total precipitation figure was more than average.”

And, speaking of snow, this winter only received (for the 3 months) 86.3 inches, which 31.4 inches below where it should be.

From Sept. 1 to the end of February, we received 91.4 inches, Gregway pointed out. That is 35.8 inches below normal, he added.

The greatest snowfall in a 24-hour period was 13.0 inches on Dec. 27.

There were 8 days with snow pellets, 5 with ice pellets and 3 with freezing rain.

The number of cloudy days, 70, was 1 above normal.

The number of partly cloudy days, 17, was also 1 above normal.

The number of clear days, 3, was 2 below normal.

There were no thunderstorm days, which is normal. There was 1 foggy day, which is also normal.

The area received 23 percent of the possible amount of sunshine. That’s just 1 percentage below average.

The highest barometric pressure was 30.57 on Jan. 10 and the lowest was 29.09 on Jan. 31.

“We had a lot of wind this winter,” Gregway said. “But, there wasn’t any really cold air and so we didn’t get any big icebergs along the shore line or on the Breakwall.”

The strongest winds came on Jan. 20 out of the west. They were clocked at 61 mph at the college and 53 mph at the county airport, Gregway noted.

“It was pretty windy. In December we had winds greater than 40 mph and in February we had several more than 30 mph,” he said. “We had some damaging winds 3 times; on Jan. 20 and 31 and Feb. 1.”

The average temperature for the winter of 2011-12 was 32.6 degrees. That was 6.4 degrees above average. The highest temperature was 78 degrees, according to Gregway.

Precipitation was pretty close to normal, he added.

Snowfall for the 3 months was 59.1 inches below average.

The warmest winter on record, going back to 1853, is 2001-02 (34.4 degrees). The coldest is 1917-18 (17.5 degrees).

The snowiest was 251.6 inches in 1971-72.

Though “it’s hard to imagine,” the least snow for an Oswego winter is 29.4 inches in 1884-85, Gregway said.

“All in all, this wasn’t much of a winter, at least by our standards,” Gregway said.