2010-2011 Season Watch

It is that time of the year again.  October is here, and it is time for me to start keeping my weather journal for all you Californians and Utahns who think I’m nuts for moving to Upstate New York.

Last year we finished the year with 41 days of snow for the season.  The season started on December 1st, 2009.  (Yes, that was the first day we got snow.  I recall getting snow in Utah before Halloween.)  Personally, I do not mind the snow.  I enjoy shoveling snow and I am already looking forward to clearing my 300′ driveway.

We ended last season with the warmest April in 89 years according to NOAA.    Although they claim March to be the worst month, there was no snow March 2010.  This means the snow season last year was from 12/1/2009 to 2/28/2010.  (The snow fall in April was so minor even NOAA discounts it.  To quote NOAA, “FINALLY…IF THERE IS NO MEASURABLE SNOW IN APRIL…THE 2009-2010 SNOW SEASON WOULD BE THE SHORTEST IN HISTORY FOR ROCHESTER. IT IS THE FIRST SEASON EVER THAT NO MEASURABLE SNOW FELL IN BOTH NOVEMBER AND

So, here we go… This first day of October, 2010, we start watching for snow.

Yesterday 9-30-2010

5 November, 2010 – They are predicting snow for tomorrow.  I’ll believe it when I see it.  It started raining last night and is still drizzling outside.  They are estimated a low of 32F, so if it does snow, it probably won’t stick.  Again, we’ll see.  Last year, November was chilly, but zero snowfall, and a few frosty days.  So far, this year, I think we’ve had 3 frosty days.  For the most part, they were very light frosts.  I still have dahlias blooming in my garden.

Day 1 – 19 November, 2010 – I woke this morning to a light blanket of white on the lawn.    There was no snow on the sidewalks or streets – it was too warm outside.  By the time I got dressed and went out side, it was raining.  Rain and snow means no snow.  By the time I left for work, it was about 99% melted.

First Snow of 2010/2011 Season

Day 2 – November 26th, 2010 – You can hardly call it snow, but we got a light dusting around 4-5pm tonight.

Day 3 – November 27th, 2010 – I woke to a light dusting this morning.  Hardly measurable, but it is snow.  Now doubt about it.  Around noon, there were just a few crystals of snow in the shadows and nooks and crannies.  It’s cold, and dry.

Early this morning Nov 27th, 2010

Day 4 – December 1st, 2010 – Okay… this is the first REAL snow of the season.  It started coming down mid-day. 1.43 inches today.

Day 5 – December 3rd, 2010 – nothing measurable.  Just some flurries.

Day 6 – December 4th, 2010 – Again, some flurries.  A bit more than yesterday.

Beckwith Mansion December 4th, 2010

Day 7 – Dec 5th, 2010 – Yeah, we got snow today.  In fact, late in to the evening we got quite a bit.  1/4 of an inch.  Okay, so not that much.

Day 8 – Dec 6th, 2010 – The snow is still falling, but at least it is melting at the same time.

Day 9 – Dec. 7th, 2010 – The snow is still falling and melting.  However, the temperature has dropped and the wind has picked up.  December 28th last year was the 9th day of snow fall.  So, we’re a good 3 weeks ahead.

Day 10 – Dec. 8th, 2010 – Another snowy day.

Day 11 – Dec. 9th, 2010 – Things started out nice, but got nasty towards the evening.

Day 12 – Dec. 10th, 2010 – Snowy and cold.  It is supposed to start warming up this weekend.

We got rain on Saturday, and more on Sunday.

Day 13 – Dec. 13th, 2010 – Very cold.  It was 15F when I left work with a windchill of -5F.  It is snowy and windy.

Day 14 – Dec. 14th, 2010 – 15F this morning and the roads are icy.  490 and 590 were parking lots.  It is a day where everyone should cancel work and send everyone outside to play in the snow.

Day 15 – Dec. 15th, 2010 – A little warmer today, and the sun actually came out.

Day 16 – December 16th, 2010 – 0.6 inches of snow today.  Not a lot, but some.

Day 17 – December 17th, 2010 – We are out of town, but according to the news, 0.7 inches today.

Day 18 – December 18th, 2010 – Do I count this?  0.1 inches.  That’s 1/10th of an inch.  Did anyone even notice?

Day 19 – December 20th, 2010 – Again, do you count this?  1/10th of an inch again.

December 27th, 2010 – Someone said we got 42 inches of snow this month.  I just checked.  It is right at 10.0 inches maximum snow fall, with the average for the area being 5 inches.  From the sounds of it, we might finish December with no more snow.  They are calling for some slight fluries.  The Drive, 100.5, also reported (and I am not going to listen to that station any more… they are full of bull-pucky) that it is the most snow in recorded history.  Guess what?   2008 (which comes to a surprise to me because we were hear in 2008) had 13 inches in December.  We’re tied with 2003 for 10 inches. 2002 had 11 inches.  I skipped a few years back to 1978 at 12 inches.

Anyway, don’t trust what you hear on the news.  At 10 inches of snow fall thus far this month, it is no record.  (I haven’t checked temperatures… oh, heck… migh as well.)

Low this month 7F.  Average 26F.  2008 was 9F and 31F.  1978 0F and 30F.  2002 was 1F and 28F.  So, it does sound like we’re a little colder than some of the previous years.  But, please… don’t go think we’re under 4 feet of snow.

31 December 2010 – We finished the year as follows:  November – althouth we had some dustings, they say no measureable amount of snow fall (that means less than 1/100th of an inch).  December – 10 inches in places, with an average of 4.80 inches for the area.  Tomorrow starts a new year, and today it ends with rain and mid to high 40F temperatures.

Day 20 – January 4th, 2011 – Hardly enough to measure, we got a light dusting during the evening.

Day 21 – January 5th, 2011 – Another dusting.  At the time of writing this post, they are reporting 1/50th of an inch.  That hardly seems worth reporting.

Day 22 – January 6th, 2011 – vary little.  Another dusting.  News says 0.3 inches.

Day 23 – January 7th, 2011 – again, just a little.  Another dusting.

Day 24 – January 8th, 2011 – woke to about 1/10th of an inch.  Thought we’d not have any more, but about 4:20pm it started snowing.

Day 25 – January 11th, 2011 – It started snowing this evening.

Day 26 – January 12th, 2011 – Woke to about 2″ of heavy powder.  It took me a good 75 minutes to shovel it off the drive way.  (Overnight snow fall came in at 2.00 inches.  Pretty good guess on my part.)

Day 27 – January 13th, 2011 – It didn’t snow over night, but started to just a tad bit as I was leaving for work.  A little bit about yesterday… Yesterday is the most snow Elizabethe and I have seen in a 24-hour period since moving to Palmyra.  It checked in at 7 inches with a total ground accumulation of 10 inches (from the last 3 days).  This report kind of took me by surprise as the roads were much worse and there seemed to be more along the sides of the roads back then.   So, it sounds like January will complete with more snow than December.  Today, they are expect 1 or maybe 2 inches of new snow.

Day 28 – January 14th, 2011 – Just a little snow this morning.  Afternoon sun came out and melted some of it.

Day 29 – January 15th, 2011 – Again, a little this morning, followed by some melt in the afternoon.

Day 30 – January 16th, 2011 – Again, a little in the morning, and cold and windy throughout the day.

Day 31 – January 17th, 2011 – More than what we had been getting, and a -6F (that’s a minus six).  Very icy as at this temperature, salt doesn’t do diddly-squat.

January 18th, 2011 – I don’t think I can count this as snow.  It was freezing rain, and then turned to rain.  It was slick, and icy on the roads, and a lot of the snow has been melted by this rain.

Day 32 – January 21st, 2011 – Yeah, it is getting really cold and nasty.  We are not getting a lot of snow, but the cold has created ice and slippery conditions.

Day 33 – January 22nd, 2011 – Another really cold day and light snow.

Day 34 – January 23rd, 2011 – We woke to a light dusting of snow.  It was enough that I had to clear the driveway.

Day 35 – January 24th, 2011 – I thought we would go all day with no snow, but around 9pm, it started snowing.  The morning started off at a -4F.

January 25th, 2011 – Last night’s snow turned to rain this morning.  Things have warmed up, and the drizzle is starting to melt the snow.  How does this compare to last year at this time?  Last year on 1/25/2010 it was raining like crazy.  We had only had 21 days of snow.  Ironically, we are tied (right now) with total snowfall with January 2010 at 10 inches.  However, the averages are higher, and the water content lower.  (Thus, the snow in areas has been deeper than last year, but it is a drier snow.)  While I’m at it… The low this year has been -8F, and the high (get this) has been 56F.  Last year, our high was 56F and our low was -4F.  Average this year has been 22F and last year 24F.

So, I have to ask… with figures so close to last year’s, why does this year seem more harsh?

Day 36 – January 30th, 2011 – Just a dusting over night.

Day 37 – January 31st, 2011 – Another dusting, all was melted by the time we got home from work except for the accumulation on the lawn.

Day 38 – February 1st, 2011 – Got up and it hadn’t snowed.  Took my shower and dressed, then it was snowing.  They say we can expect 1-3 inches today, and another 3-5 tomorrow.  They estimate total ACCUMULATION to be 10-15 inches.  Again, that is not snow fall, but accumulation – that is adding to what is already on the ground unmelted.  Late update:  We got about 0.5 inches total today.  After I left for Rochester, it stopped snowing except for some very light fluries.

Day 39  – February 2nd, 2011 – I woke and it was snowing, but by the time I dressed and headed outside to shovel, it had completely stopped.  Because I had cleared the snow last night off the driveway, I had a good base to measure.  We got about 1.25-1.5 inches during the night.  That’s a lot to shovel by hand, but not anything major.  It is supposed to snow more during the day.  We will see.

After Shoveling the Driveway

Day 40 – February 3rd, 2011 – Again, I woke to a little snow, but nothing major.  It pretty much stopped by the end of the day and didn’t add but an inch or less to the accumulation.

Day 41 – February 5th, 2011 – We have now gone beyond the total snow-days of 2009/2010 season.  This morning there was a nice blanket of snow.  It was dense and wet and easy to clear off the driveway.  I’m guessing it was about 3/4ths of an inch.

Day 42 – February 6th, 2011 – Another shallow coat of snow.  I had cleared the driveway last night, but today, it being Sunday, decided to just let it go.  By the end of the day, it was about 34F and the snow was melting, but not rapidly.

Day 43 – February 19th, 2011 – Yesterday was like spring; today was like winter… again.

Day 44 – February 20th, 2011 – Had snow when I got up, then it warmed up, but by the time I went to bed, it was snowing again.

Snow February 20th, 2011

Day 45 – February 21st, 2011 – Got about 1.5″ overnight and some flurries this morning.

Day 46 – February 25th, 2011 – It must have started snowing just minutes before I got up.  The driveway had just a dusting.  But, by the time I showered, it was deep enought to require shoveling.  And, by the time I left for Rochester, it was again covered with a dusting.  Last I checked out side, there are 2′ drifts forming between the cars in the parking  lot in Rochester.  (Not sure what Palmyra is like.)

Snow at 400 West Avenue

Day 47 – February 26th, 2011 – Had some new snow and I shoveled the sidewalks and driveway this morning.  (see:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZwvUp1amC8 )

Day 48 – February 27th, 2011 – 1.5 inches of new snow this morning.

Day 49 – March 6th, 2011 – It was really coming down this morning.  Someone commented, “They say were’s supposed to get 12″ today.”  I laughed.  Palmyra has never got 12″ in a day.  And, given we have no accumulation because most of it melted, we wouldn’t have 12″ of accumulation either.  People are funny when it comes to the amount of snow.  And, no, that pile on the side of the road doesn’t count.  That’s where the snow plows have piled it up.

March 9th, 2011

Day 50 – March 14th, 2011 – We got a dusting this morning.  It melted quickly, but you could tell it snowed.  There was nothing worth getting the shovel out for.

So, where are we at compared to previous years?

This year:  Total Snow for March (accumulated):  5″
Last year:  Total Snow for March (accumulated): 10″

This year:  February (accumulated):  10″
Last year:  February (accumulated): 14″

This year:  January (accumulated):  10″
Last year:  January (accumulated):  10″

This year (2010):  December (accumulated):  10″
Last year (2009): December (accumulated): 5″

(Data source:  NWS)

When you look at these figures, it shows December was worse than last year, but since December, we’ve been the same or milder than last year.  Perceptions are funny when you don’t have historical data in front of you.  All this said, I think our snow this year has been more spread out, making it more work to keep it cleared from the streets and driveways.  I know the Village of Palmyra has had more snow-plow-days than usual.

Day 51 – March 23rd, 2011 – It was cold and cloudy when I got up, and by the time I left for work, it was starting to snow.  Around lunch time, there was snow on the ground, but not the streets.  By dinner time, there was a good 2″ on the streets.  Hmmm… March is supposed to go out like a lamb.

March 24th, Yesterdays Snow Blanket

Day 52 – March 31st, 2011 – I woke to a gentile rain.  About the time I left for the office it was snowing.  We have flowers blooming in the yard, and it decides to snow.  It didn’t snow much, but enough to stick to the grass in places.  But, by the end of the day, it was all gone.

The Front Yard is COVERED with These

Well, it is April 15th, and I don’t think we are going to get any more snow this season.  I’m not ruling it out, but I think we’re past that point now.   The pattern of weather this year kept snow on the ground longer.  It has not been much colder, nor did we get a lot more snow than usual, it just stayed on the ground longer.  The fact that it stayed on the ground longer plays psychological tricks on people making them think we got lots more snow, and making them think it is much colder, and making them think winter was longer.  However, I am really glad spring is here this year.