Well the 2007-2008 Contest is a wrap, congratulations to Syracuse (AGAIN) and to the other runner ups. It was a heck of a contest this year, and the cloest ever final numbers. Below I have the winter broken down by month of the big events. I am from Buffalo, so it might have some bias in the events, but if anything major is missing add a comment and I will put it into the narrative. Comments, Corrections, Suggestions? Drop a comment!
The big stories this season...
1. The lack of major lake effect snows for the cities and a trend toward more synoptic snowfall for a good chunk of the later part of the season. There were a few decent lake effect storms this year, but I think many cities seen a larger percent then usual of snow come from storm systems this season. I don't have the numbers to show this but if anyone does please feel free to comment.
2. The year of the leap frogs as the cities changed places quickly and often. The early months seen quite a few changes and even some big jumps of two places at a time. No one really held a safe lead at any time. One storm could and often did change the leaderboard.
3. Slow and steady won the race this year. No really hefty snowstorm totals this year the cities just kept tacking on the snow day after day. No city ran away with a lead and they all pretty much kept up with each other throughout the season.
The 2007-2008 season got off to a fairly average start. As usual Buffalo recorded the first snowfall of the season with 2.5 inches of lake effect falling on November 7th. While this wasn't the same as the 22 inch lead the city had to start to last year's contest you have to start somewhere. Three days later Binghamton was the second city to ring in snowfall with about a half inch falling.
The following week Syracuse and Rochester finally got on the board as the lake effect machine began it's usual late fall rollercoaster of squall lines. While the contest was still young it got interesting early. Two days after Syracuse's first snow they managed to sneak ahead of Buffalo for 1st place. Just a day after that the big guns were out in Binghamton and they snuck ahead of both Buffalo and Syracuse!
Thanksgiving came and went with little action on the snow front, we kept busy with Pat making some shameless plugs on the site. November ended with no huge amounts of snow but plenty of place jumps by the cities to get the contest going!
December started off with a return to the snow and yet another jump by a city, this time Syracuse taking over Binghamton for first place once again. The beginning of December also brought our first major winter storm potential for everyone. After the hype a whole lot of nothing fell for the cities. As the winter storm warnings feel lake effect warnings went right back up. The lake effect really got cranking later in the first week of December with Syracuse quickly adding up the inches and another leader board shakeup with Rochester jumping from fourth to second and Buffalo dropping from thrid to fourth. Syracuse, Rochester, and Binghamton really kept the totals moving upward fast in December with some daily record snowfalls while Buffalo kept Albany company in the basement.
As we moved into the middle of the month we started looking at our second hyped up winter storm for the cities. The storm turned out to be a bit of a bust from the forcasts but still the first major storm of the season for the GSB. Buffalo and Syracuse picked up a foot, Albany and Rochester saw 8 inches and Binghamton came in last with only 3 inches. Buffalo skated back into third place with their first foot snowfall of the season.
The snow looked good heading into the Christmas holiday but little of that lasted until the holiday, and it was mainly a green and brown christmas for most places.
We headed toward the end of December and the end of the 2007 year with little more action going on.
News Years Day was marked with the Ice Bowl in Buffalo and also seen a return to some snow. Almost a perfect weather picture for the outdoor hockey game with a lake effect band dropping some fresh snow for the game. The New Year also saw Albany making a dramatic run trading plaaces and sending Binghamton to fifth and be only 3 inches behind Buffalo in third.
After the early snow to start the New Year off things turned spring like in the GSB with temps getting into the 50's and 60's for many places breaking tons of temperature records. Buffalo recorded three consecutive days of record high temps on January 7th, 8th, and 9th. The record temps came to a quick end as a return to cooler weather was marked by a very unusal overnight squall line of severe thunderstorms. Hail, Thunder, Lightning, and Winds over 70mph did some damage to parts of Western and Central NY. I almost forgot to mention I did my first snow dance of the season the day before these thunderstorms but guess I got my foot worked mixed up somewhere.
By the middle of the month the snow started to fall again and the battle for 3rd, 4th and 5th place really got close with Buffalo in 3rd being a mere 2 inches from falling into last place Binghamton. The lake effect was on and off regulary throughout mid January but there was little movement of the cities during all of this. Syracuse was slow in adding the inches and Rochester took advantage of some lake effect to keep inching towards first place.
The middle of the month was also the first real large and extended lake effect storm. Totals on Lake Ontario reached over 30 inches in the Fulton and Oswego areas.
Feeling the heat comming I went out for another snow dance heading into the final days of the month. The results, still not so good. Again high winds of up to 80 mph hit WNY and up to 60,000 people lost power. There was some improvements as the thunderstorms were replaced with lake effect snow however. The storm was very interesting as it pounded Buffalo with blizzard conditions for several hours and even closed the NYS from Buffalo to Rochster, the first and only time the snow closed the section of thruway in the 07-08 season. An amazing 9 1/2 "storm surge" occured on Lake Erie causing damage to the ice boom and flooding several areas along the waterfront.
The month came to a close with Pat trying his feet at a Syracuse snow dance.
The month started ripe with some snow and ice falling across the GSB. Enough fell for Binghamton to sneak into fourth place and again drop Albany to the basement. The shortest month of the year moved quickly as another major storm was hyped heading into the middle of the month. Again another storm and another bust. Some snow a bit of ice, and rain. The cities all kept adding a bit here and there but no more changes. The standings remained fairly close and on Febuary 15th were as follows
Syracuse – 76.0
Rochester – 68.5
Buffalo – 59.8
Binghamton – 50.2
Albany – 44.8
By this time Lake Erie was 85-90% frozen however a suprise lake effect storm fired up off Lake Erie somehow and got Buffalo back into the run for the top spot.
The month came to an end with two more major storm forcasts both turning out to be bust storms, a few inches for all of the cities, but nothing huge to change the standings much. Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo headed into a close battle for the top three heading into the end of the month while Binghamton and Albany had a battle for last.
What a suprise we started the month with yet again back to back winter storm hypes and again NOTHING! So when yet another winter storm was hyped heading into the second weekend of the month some of us turned a cold shoulder to the warnings. Well this one turned out to be a whooper storm for some of us! Buffalo added up a whooping 21 inches over the weekend while Rochester can in with over a foot. This jumped Buffalo into second ahead of Rochester by an inch and put them only 6 inches behind Syracuse in first. The contest was really getting close!
Just a day later as we neared the middle of the month Rochester snuck back into second place, but Syracuse kept adding little by little to keep both Rochester and Buffalo in check. Meanwhile Binghamton and Syracuse which were so productive earlier in the season really trailed off in snow in March.
The month concluded with some wet flakes but again no changes to the leaderboard.
A few flakes but it was a wrap before the month started as most of the GSB seen a month of much above average temperatures and one of the warmest Aprils on record for several cities. Once it hits 87 in April in Buffalo you can hang your hat the snow is done!