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Golden Snowball Totals for the 2010 - 2011 Snowfall Season
Updated  5/1/2011

GSB Cities This Season Normal Average
to Date
This Time Last Season Normal
 Seasons Average
All Time Season Snowfall Record
Syracuse 179.0 111.8 106.1 121.1 192.1 inches
( 1992 - 1993 )
Rochester 127.0 99.8 89.8 100.3 161.7 inches
( 1959 - 1960 )
Binghamton 117.5 80.8 81.4 81 134.0 inches
( 1995 - 1996 )
Buffalo 111.8 96.7 74.1 97 199.4 inches
( 1976 - 1977 )
Albany 87.2 62.6 45.4 62.6 112.5 inches
( 1970 - 1971 )

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Snow Lovers and Haters Opinions Needed

Here's where your help and input is needed and deeply appreciated. Since yesterday I have been doing an email exchange with Charlie English who is a journalist from London and who works for the Guardian ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/ ) is working on a book about snow and its effect on people? Charlie visited family in CNY in February of 2006 and really liked it and wants to know how we all feel about the snow we receive each year. I'm hoping for a good response from all of you New Yorkers who visit the Golden Snowball website so that Charlie can get a good feel as what kind of effect it has on all of us. Obviously some of us hate the snow and some of us love it.

Quite often the Golden Snowball website gets some interesting emails from people all over the state and even the entire country either asking about the weather or contest or voicing an opinion about the snowfall that New York state receives. Only once in awhile do we get emails from other countries asking about the snow and the Golden Snowball contest and in my opinion it's pretty cool when it happens.

Below are a few questions that Charlie English is interested in for any of you willing to help out. You can just post your answers and feelings by clicking on the comment link and remember they get moderated before they post so don't worry if it doesn't show up right away. You don't have to sign up to post a comment here, you can just check either the anonymous spot or the nickname box and type a name in there. You don't have to use your real name but PLEASE let us know from what part of New York you are from and thanks for your responses.

Some Questions;

One of the questions Charlie has is about the Psychological effect the snow has on you. Does it put you in a better mood when it's snowing out or does the snow get you down a little bit or a lot.

Does it have an affect on our sense of humor during the snow season? How about your family or friends?

What helps you to get by during the snowy months? Playing in it or just trying to avoid it completely.

I know that there comes a point for most of us other than the sledders and skiers where enough is enough. When is it enough for you? In other words come the first snowfall is enough already or can you deal with it much longer.

What do you like about our winters or for a couple of you what don't you like about the snow? Yeah I know it's more than a couple who don't like the snow.

In summary I think what Charlie is looking for is pretty much your general opinion and how you feel about all the snow we get in New York. whether it's a good or a bad opinion, mood swings and so on. Just chime away and your answers are appreciated. Make sure to add where you are from though whether it's the Tug Hill area up north, Buffalo, Syracuse, Utica or wherever and thanks for taking the time. Have a great day all!

23 Comments:

At 1/15/08, 4:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My idea of a perfect winter is one where the snow falls early and sufficient to cover the yard work I didn't finish in the fall. It should stay cold so that the snow doesn't melt and drop another couple inches every other day or so to keep things clean and fresh-looking.

Massive amounts of snow are exciting, but too much work for those of us with long driveways and no large young men living at home any more. I also don't appreciate large, heavy quantities of snow or ice that damage the trees.

I far prefer to see sparkly whiteness to the drab gray and brown that are winter without snow. It's also a lot more fun to watch the dog (a labrador) dive into the snow and swim about than to see her splashing around in the mud. Making "doggy angels" is just so much cuter than rolling in mud.

Snow is also more fun to play in than mud when it's miserably cold outdoors. Sledding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, even building snow shelters are all fun activities we've done both with and without kids as they grew. If it's just cold and grey and wet, there isn't much you can do but try to distract yourself with indoor activities...which we also know lots about, because it isn't always snowy outside.

We live in Fairport, New York; which is just a bit to the east of Rochester.

 
At 1/15/08, 5:06 PM , Anonymous Angie said...

Does it have an affect on our sense of humor during the snow season?
During the holidays it's fun, it puts me in a good mood, everything all white. I like it until about mid-February, when I'm ready for Spring. I also like the cozy feeling of being inside in the warm house with a hot cup of tea, and there's no guilt that I should be outside doing something. You don't get that cozy feeling in summer.

How about your family or friends?
Some hate the snow, some love the snow. People who snow mobile and ski love it. Or, people who just like the change of seasons.

What helps you to get by during the snowy months? Playing in it or just trying to avoid it completely.
I like to play in it and enjoy the beauty. (I haven't actually played in snow since I was a kid, except for occasional skiing, but I'm looking forward to playing in it with my kids when I have some.) I wanted to build a snowman this year, but we haven't had enough snow since before Christmas.

I know that there comes a point for most of us other than the sledders and skiers where enough is enough. When is it enough for you? In other words come the first snowfall is enough already or can you deal with it much longer.
Until about mid-February. If we get into mid-March and it's still coming down everyday...I am sick of it! I hate brushing my car off every single day. I guess it depends if we get one storm after the other, I get tired of it sooner. If it's a winter with light snow and a lot of breaks in the snow, I can handle it longer.

What do you like about our winters or for a couple of you what don't you like about the snow? Yeah I know it's more than a couple who don't like the snow.
I like the cozy feeling of the cold and snow. I do have fond memories of playing in it when I was a kid. Also, I hate the heat, so I enjoy the cold, crisp air (unless it's below about 28 degrees...then it's too cold). I DO NOT enjoy sub zero temperatures!
The part I don't like is the extra time to shovel and brush off your car. I don't like driving in it either. I'm pretty good at driving in it, it just takes too long to get places! Slowing down isn't fun when you're trying to get to work, or get home from work.

 
At 1/15/08, 5:07 PM , Anonymous Angie said...

Sorry, I forgot to add that I live in Syracuse, NY. Camillus area.

 
At 1/15/08, 5:17 PM , Anonymous mike m(binghamton) said...

Does it put you in a better mood when it's snowing out or does the snow get you down a little bit or a lot?
yes, i really become overjoyed when i see the snow coming down.it looks beautiful and for me it lets me know that the Earth/ environment is in good shape, and global warming is not completely runing the Earth yet.Snow in the winter is natural, it is the way it has been since the begining of days, and it is the way it should be.

Does it have an affect on our sense of humor during the snow season? How about your family or friends?

in my opinion, everyone seems much happier, and therefore seem to have a better sense of humor.

What helps you to get by during the snowy months? Playing in it or just trying to avoid it completely?

i ski as much as i can...there is nothing like skiing through fresh powder on a snowy night in the north woods.
I know that there comes a point for most of us other than the sledders and skiers where enough is enough. When is it enough for you? In other words come the first snowfall is enough already or can you deal with it much longer.

ill take as much snow as mother nature can throw at me.

What do you like about our winters or for a couple of you what don't you like about the snow? Yeah I know it's more than a couple who don't like the snow?

it really seems to bring the best out in people. people helping people. people help others who get stuck in their cars, people shovel elderly neighbors driveways...overall it is just great. if id had to guess id say many more people than you think actually love the snow here in binghamton. imagine how sad we would all be if we didnt get one flurry all winter....

 
At 1/15/08, 6:13 PM , Blogger Patrick said...

Great responses everyone and thanks. It's really interesting reading them and seeing some connections and similarities to the way I feel about the snow.

Anon, although I love the massive storms that we get from time to time I'm in the same boat with my kids all being away at college. I still have 2 on break but they go back in a week. Of course the day they leave is when the snow will start falling again. Fairport ring a bell big time. I'm thinking that is where my son played for his Little League all star tournament a few years back???

Angie, Thanks! I think one of the things you mentioned bugs me the most about the snow. When I have to make several stops and it's snowing pretty hard and after each stop cleaning off the car over and over again. I actually enjoy driving in it but only late at night when no one else is on the road ;)

Mike, I never thought of you as a snow lover ;p I'm joking of course. I like what you mentioned about it bringing the best out of people and it's so true no matter what area you are from in NY.

Keep them coming. This really is great hearing how everyone feels about our snow and I'm sure Charlie will appreciate it.

 
At 1/16/08, 4:17 AM , Anonymous charlie said...

Thanks very much for those thoughts, they are indeed much appreciated. I definitely buy into the idea that snow can make people happier, mike m. A friend in Buffalo said he thought it gave people a dry, self-deprecating sense of humour too, but I don't know about that.
I am very jealous of you guys having the lake effect and such a good snowfall -- the best snow crystals I ever saw fell in a hotel parking lot in Syracuse.
When I was there I was really taken with the way everyone seemed to have adapted to it. A four inch fall in London is a rare event and brings the city to a standstill for a couple of days, but in central NY every other car seemed to have a plow attachment, and the roads are cleared in minutes.
I did meet one person who seemed to absolutely hate it and wanted to leave -- but then she had been raised in warm, wet England.

 
At 1/16/08, 8:05 AM , Anonymous ZR800 said...

Mood? I get extatic when the first signs of snow are in the air. About the beginning of October, I become an 8 year old and can't wait for the first flakes.

Helps to get buy? I am passionate about snowmobiling and travel all over to get the good snow. I also snow plow and love being out in the middle of the night against a good storm. Its technology, mechanical ability, and human nature against mother nature. And we know here where we live, that we can beat it and I think people enjoy that too. A little bit (or alot) is not going to hold us back for long. We are going to get after it with plows, blowers, shovels, salt & sand and be back to normal as quickly as possible after the snow stops. And we will be ready to do it again in a few hours!

There is never enough for me. Besides that fact that I was born and raised here, I truely love the seasons and weather upstate NY has to offer. As it is, our winter is short enough. I would prefer to see the ground covered from early November through beginning of April. I just simply can not get enough of it.

I think it does get in your blood! I am from Fairport, NY (suburb of Rochester) and grew up sledding, skiing, snowmobiling, ice skating in the back yard where my dad would flood the low spot, building snow forts with these plastic boxes you could make blocks out of and can think of a hundred good child good memories out in the snow. Sledding parties, renting lodges at county parks on the weekends for work, sport, or other organizational winter fun days, winter campouts with the boy scouts, playing with the dog, and hoping each and every morning we might have a snow day off from school! That snow day from school joy is just something some in other areas of the country or world just have no idea how it affects kids; anticipation building as they go through the list alphabetically on the radio and they get close to the first letter of your school district. Then the excitement when you hear your school name, and out the door awaits a nice fresh snowfall just waiting to be messed up by you and your dog. Soon the kids in the neighborhood will be meeting up at someone's house for some good times, followed by hot chocolate that someone's mom made for everyone.

Good times. Ok, bring on another storm please!

 
At 1/17/08, 10:44 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guys;
I grew up in Binghamton and endured 50 winters in upstate NY. No more, four years ago we bought a winter home in Florida. I access your site regularly so that I can gloat. Upstate winters are weeks on end of grey skies, wet and cold. I would sink into a depression immediately after the holidays and it would last until my ethnic high holyday, St. Patricks day, when a feeling of hope began to stir. During Florida winters, I walk the ocean almost every morning accompanied by brillant blue skies and temperatures in the 70s. Nothing like sunshine to imbue a feeling of well being, and golf is very difficult on snow. (I know I've tried)

 
At 1/17/08, 1:50 PM , Anonymous Jessica said...

I am very competitive about our snowfall totals, particularly with my family in Erie, Pennsylvania, another snowy (but not AS snowy :-)) city that benefits from lake effect. There's a lot of trash talk from November through March. I live in Rochester, and I dream of beating Syracuse some year. Blaming the location of the airport, where the official measurements are taken, is the equivalent of blaming the referees when it comes to snowfall competition. My feeling is if we're going to get at least 100 inches of snow, we might as well get the bragging rights that go along with getting the most.

There's nothing like the excitement of a big snowstorm, and the anticipation that comes with the prospect of a snowday is a feeling that never goes away if you've grown up with it.

People here take a lot of pride in how well we deal with our snow and enjoy making fun of places where everything shuts down if there's half an inch of snow, whereas we get through winters of 120 inches when nothing closes.

Our winters are a little too long and gray but the snow is no problem.

 
At 1/17/08, 9:15 PM , Blogger Shane said...

Wow, anonymous commenter #1 pretty much said everything i would have said. Except that being a young man, and having neither a car nor a driveway mitigates any reservations i might have about huge snow amounts. Bring on the blizzards!! I was just thinking the other day it might be fun to spend a winter in Valdez, AK (http://www.met.utah.edu/jhorel/html/wx/climate/normsnow.html)

I also like the way snow storms slow everything down a bit. As the mesmerizing sheets of snow cascade down, it is as if nature is saying "hushhhhhhhh".

(I am from Rochester, NY, though i currently live in Hanover, NH)

 
At 1/19/08, 12:29 PM , Anonymous Rob said...

I am commenter "Jessica"'s father, living in Erie, Pa. My feeling about snow and snowstorms are identical to hers, although I must point out that contrary to her ". . . but not AS snowy" comment, Erie finished last winter ahead of Rochester in total snowfall. I've been waging a years-long battle to have Erie included in the Golden Snowball contest; unsuccessful so far, but I'm going to persist. It couldn't be that you upstate (what does that mean, anyhow?) NY'ers are afraid of a little outstate competition, could it? After all, it's not like Flagstaff, AZ is applying for inclusion :-)

 
At 1/20/08, 12:39 AM , OpenID TomDiehl1 said...

I spent the bulk of my life in Maryland, and am new to New York. That said, the winters I've experienced there verses here are quite different. I do have answers to the questions when it comes to my personal experiences, though.


Does it put you in a better mood when it's snowing out or does the snow get you down a little bit or a lot?

When I was a kid, I used to enjoy the snowfall, probably because I enjoyed getting off from school. Now it seems to get me down a lot, because I very much don't enjoy having to shovel or snowblow it, and especially hate having to work in it. I work outdoors during several parts of my work day, by the way. However if I didn't, i would probably not enjoy just driving in it, either.


Does it have an affect on our sense of humor during the snow season? How about your family or friends?

If anything, i think it has a positive effect on our sense of humor....as there's nothing quite like having a snowball fight with friends, and that's always enjoyable and good for a laugh


What helps you to get by during the snowy months? Playing in it or just trying to avoid it completely.

Avoiding it whenever possible, but having fun in it whenever i absolutely have to be out in it.


I know that there comes a point for most of us other than the sledders and skiers where enough is enough. When is it enough for you? In other words come the first snowfall is enough already or can you deal with it much longer.

After about the first week of snowfall, i get sick of it and don't want to see it for another year.


What do you like about our winters or for a couple of you what don't you like about the snow? Yeah I know it's more than a couple who don't like the snow.

What I don't like most is the amount of snow.

I am currently living in Rensselaer, just outside of Albany, experiencing my first winter here. The snowfall we've had so far is generally more than we get in a winter where i used to live, and i hated having tons of snow where i used to live, too.

 
At 1/21/08, 9:30 AM , Anonymous ZR800 said...

Whoaa Rob; better be careful coming on here making those kinds of claims (quoting Erie beating Rochester last year):) Just having fun of course, but curious as to where your info is coming from. I show Erie with a total of 106.6 for 2006-2007 (NWS- Erie AirportSeason snowfall: 106.6 inches) and Rochester @ 107.2.

 
At 1/21/08, 2:29 PM , Blogger Patrick said...

UT Oh Rob, you hit a nerve ;) Obviously you can tell ZR is from Rochester, the same as your daughter Jessica.

ZR or Rob, do you have a link from NOAA with Erie's totals from last year in case I can't find them. It will be interesting to see if Rob gloated all summer to Jessica about beating Rochester when it could of been the other way around :) Rob, all in fun of course like ZR800 mentioned. Rob, I jut went back and tried to find some old emails because I'm thinking we have exchanged some in the past but I couldn't find them. The chances are that they are on an older computer though because I can't seem to find them.

Tom, Albany has definitely had a decent snow season so far compared to some other years and it's nice to get some different views about the weather. BTW, Ocean City, MD is one of my favorite places in the US to go on a vacation to.


Quote "I also like the way snow storms slow everything down a bit. As the mesmerizing sheets of snow cascade down, it is as if nature is saying "hushhhhhhhh".

Shane, Well said. One of my favorite things about a good storm is getting out and shoveling at night time to keep up with the snow coming down and just hearing, well nothing I suppose. It really is so peaceful during a good storm.

Jessica and it sounds like your dad also are dead on about the pride thing and bragging rights. When the Golden Snowball contest is brought up in conversation the first city that gets mentioned is Buffalo. When I first started keeping track of the contest I also thought Buffalo would have been the big snow maker and was even more surprised to see how much Rochester received mainly for the fact of not paying much attention to what the other cities actually did receive each snow season. Of course when it comes down to monster storms Buffalo does come to mind. That said, GO ROCHESTER, Booo Erie ;p Hmmmm, is booing allowed here??? Again, all in fun Rob ;)

Anon, I'm sure probably half of the state would do the same as you if they could. For some reason when it comes to golfing I always keep my clubs out hoping to get that one last round in ;) It did hit 70 here a week or so ago and the golfers were out in force. Unfortunately I didn't get the chance. As for the dark, gloomy cloudy days that is probably about the worse thing about CNY and why I would rather have it snowing to brighten things up. I'll take the snow and cold over the rainy and 40 degree weather any time. My son was down there for a vacation when the temps dropped down into the 20's recently. He said it felt just like home. I moved to Florida when I was younger and didn't even last 2 months before I got homesick for NY. Of course as I get older who knows, that could change. Nah!!!

ZR, yours sounds similar to my childhood and most likely many other CNY'ers and Upstate New Yorkers.

Thanks everyone and keep them coming.

 
At 1/21/08, 8:37 PM , Anonymous zr800 said...

WHen I googled for Erie stats, this is what I got.

http://eriesnowfall.blogspot.com/

http://eriecountypasnowfall.raerie.org/

 
At 1/21/08, 10:50 PM , Blogger Patrick said...

Bad news ZR and Jessica. It looks like Rob, Dad to you Jessica is right. I'm coming up with 108.6 inches for Erie on the NOAA site. ZR, after April 8th which is what those stats are updated to there was another 1.9 inches reported at NOAA. Let me check out Rochester's numbers to make sure no adjustments were made during the off time and I'll double check Erie's stats also ;)

 
At 1/21/08, 11:04 PM , Blogger Patrick said...

I just double checked and Erie it is by 1.4 inches. Bragging rights go to Rob ;)

Here is the link for Erie's stats http://www.weather.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=cle

 
At 1/22/08, 8:08 AM , Anonymous zr800 said...

Congrats Rob!! The one thing to note about Erie, is that from what I have noticed in the past, they seem to get snow 1st (and its Lake Effect) in the season, before any GSB city does. It would be interesting to see when their average 1st snow of the season is, versus the GSB's. I have 2 sister in laws that went to school there and they always have to rub it in that they are getting snow first. If someone has nothing better to do, it would be interesting. But then the lake gets cold, and things slow down for them.

 
At 1/22/08, 2:01 PM , Anonymous jessica said...

Yes, Erie did "inch" by us late in the year last year, but Rochester has a higher "average" total, which is what I base my snowier title on. Lake Erie usually freezes, unlike Lake Ontario, so Buffalo and Erie often need those early big snowfalls ZR mentions to beat us Lake O Effect (as opposed to Lake E Effect) beneficiaries.

 
At 1/22/08, 4:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is something very peaceful about looking out your window in the morning and seeing the yard covered in snow that is perfectly smooth- no footsteps have disturbed the beauty yet. Granted, if you are looking at the street side of the house, the view will eventually be marred by the snow plow, leaving massive piles of dirty snow at the edge of your yard, and a big pile at the end of your driveway that you have to clear before getting out. But a fresh snowfall is beautiful. I would rather have it snowing than just cloudy- the snow falling quietly can be very peaceful and is much prettier than just gray skies or rain and mud. Even when I get home from work and have to shovel the driveway before I can even get my car off the street, the snow is pretty enough (and quiet enough) that it is somewhat relaxing (despite any aching muscles).

If you are going to live in a snowy area, you have to have a sense of humor about it. Like others, I have a bit of pride when it comes to the snowfall in Syracuse. I love comparing our snow totals to my parents (in one of the northern suburbs of Rochester, where they get more snow than the official Rochester measurement). The comments they make and the looks on their faces when they come to my house and see our snowpiles makes me smile. Even better is talking with friends who live downstate or in states south of here, and commenting on how early in the year it snowed or how much we got in any one storm. They are always in disbelief, and that just adds to my pride.

My opinion about the weather in NY (and this includes most of the state) is that it is much better than in many other areas of the country. Sure snow and cold are unusual in Florida. But hurricanes are common. California gets earthquakes, mudslides, and wild fires. The midwest has tornadoes. We might have to wear several layers of clothing to have any hope of staying even kind of warm during the winter, and we may have to get up an hour earlier to clean off cars, shovel driveways, and drive slow. But we generally know when a storm is coming, we can all take precautions like driving slowly and safely, and a blizzard is not going to destroy your home. An occasional ice storm may cause some major damage, but you will still have a home to live in. I would rather deal with snow and cold than always wonder if the next hurricane, tornado, earthquake, etc. is going to be the last one my house will live through...

 
At 1/27/08, 5:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Q.Does it put you in a better mood when it's snowing out or does the snow get you down a little bit or a lot.

A. I love the look of snow, especially when it is sunny the days after a big snow/ice storm. The "magic" of Christmas is spread from October to March every year. What gets depressing is winters when the weather can't make up it's mind and we end up with muddy slush, as well as prolonged periods without any sunshine.

Q. Does it have an affect on our sense of humor during the snow season? How about your family or friends?

A. Driving is definitely interesting. We often compare with friends and family how many times we fishtailed on a given car ride or how many times we hit paches of black ice. Stories about slipping and falling on our bums in large crowds of people (and how many people we took down with us) are always good for a laugh, because everyone can relate. I think you have to have a sense of humor, because otherwise you would just stay locked up, too afraid to drive or walk anywhere.

Q. What helps you to get by during the snowy months? Playing in it or just trying to avoid it completely.

A. There are so many snowy months that I think we have learned to just live with it like normal. My routine doesn't change in the winter - I exercise indoors instead of walking on the Erie Canal, but otherwise not much changes. Obviously you avoid blizzards (they're a good excuse to get housework done and lounge around your house), but overall life goes on as normal.

Q. When is it enough for you? In other words come the first snowfall is enough already or can you deal with it much longer.

A. I can deal with it for much longer. What I hate the most is when winter starts changing into spring, and it goes back and forth between snow and a slushy, mucky, muddy mess. As long as it stays cold and white, I'm good until about March/early April.

Q. What do you like about our winters or for a couple of you what don't you like about the snow?

A. The beauty of the white, the crisp air (as long as the wind chill stays above 0 degrees F), winter activities (sledding, skiing).

 
At 1/27/08, 5:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

That last one was from Brighton, NY (just south of Rochester)

 
At 1/28/08, 11:20 AM , Anonymous sre141 said...

I think snow definitely gives me a better sense of humor. Even if classes don't get canceled, I usually end up having a lot of fun with the whole situation...even just with snow predictions.

Most of my friends are Meteorology students, like myself, and really love the snow. My family on the other hand...not so much. Though, they have the same opinion as one of the previous posters...it's better than hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, etc.

Playing in the snow does help a little bit, but what helps greatly has nothing to do with snow: basketball, in particular college.

As long as I don't have to shovel it, I'm fine with snow for as long as it falls. Once I have to shovel though, then I'm ready for it to stop.

Being in Pennsylvania for school, there really isn't much I like about the winters here. It's just cold and doesn't snow that much. I think that's what I like most about the Upstate NY winters...at least we get a good amount of snow to go with the cold. I mean, if it's going to be cold, it might as well snow every now and then. It just seems nicer to have snow than not if it's cold outside.

 

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