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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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Friday, January 30, 2009

Syracuse Already Over Seasonal Snowfall Normals

Breaking News - Syracuse is Over Their Average Seasonal Snowfall Totals. OK, no matter which seasonal snowfall totals you go by for Syracuse, they are over them all now. Now as the latest stats came in from NOAA and only around halfway through the season. I was going to post a couple of hours ago but wanted to hold off to make sure the airport was getting the little bit needed that I was at my house. As of 5:00 PM Syracuse's total snowfall for the 2008 - 2009 snow season has piled up to 121.2 going over the highest average that you will see at NOAA. Read the post below for more about why the averages have been talked about lately.

Remember, these stats are on a 30 year average but updated every 10 years. In other words although NOAA has a couple different seasonal averages for Syracuse the average annual snowfall from 1971 - 2000 according to NOAA is 121.1 . That's the one we are going to go with from here on out. Unless of course we change that :)o If you look around you will see averages of around 117 inches give or take a bit. That would be the all time averages which is something like 58 or 59 years. Pretty much since NOAA started recording or keeping track of the stats. Another would be what NOAA has in their Climate page section which we have been using for the fact that is where we get our daily stats and averages from. The reason we have decided to go with the 121.1 inches for the average annual snowfall is because those seem to be the most accurate or updated. I crunched some numbers together for 30 years of snow seasons and came up with 120.1 but we'll go with the 121.1 inches which is based on Monthly totals over a 30 year span from 1971 to 2000 instead of annual or seasonal. OK, enough already huh ;)

More breaking news is that Buffalo has regained second place by a few flakes over taking Rochester once again. If only we can get the cities to start making a charge to the top of the snow hill to keep this contest interesting we'll be all set. Remember only about half way through the snow season now with a full second half to play and anything can happen in that time. Don't let the fact that Lake Erie is pretty close to being frozen over fool you either. Buffalo is Buffalo and they know how to find a way to grab some snow from where ever they can get it. Don't be surprised f We catch them trying to tap into our lake, Lake Ontario because they are good at finding snow which brings me to:

Snow is in the forecast with the possibility of a kick butt storm in the making. Rumors are spreading around faster than the snow is flying right now up north in the Watertown area that come early next week another major storm, perhaps the best of the season so far is tweaking itself. From what the snow birdie told me is it may be a little to the west of Syracuse which would probably mean a mix of everything but the kitchen sink in and East of Syracuse. Could be a chance for Buffalo and Rochester to make up some snowflakes on DaCuse. Of course it's way to far away for any of the pros (your local meteorologists to even coma close to making a call as to which way it will head but keep checking with them because if everything falls into place this could be a good one. Hopefully all snow in New York but that probably isn't going to happen. It would be nice if it could stay to the east of Syracuse where everyone gets to play. Congrats to Syracuse on hitting the annual snowfall this early in the season. The annual snowfall whatever it may be ;) Have a great night all!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Has Syracuse Gone Over Their Seasonal Totals?

The numbers are in and although the storm didn't drop quite as much snow as we were hoping for daily records were broken. Believe it or not 4 out of the 5 goldensnowball cities broke snowfall records for the date and who would of thought that with 5.9 inches Albany was the only one that didn't. Here are the numbers for yesterday compliments of NOAA.

Syracuse - 9.3 inches broke record from 1997
Rochester - 7.5 inches broke record all the way back to 1889???
Buffalo - 7.1 inches broke record from 2004
Binghamton - 5.9 inches broke the date snow record from 2004
Albany - 5.9 inches no record and believe it or not the record is over 9 inches for them.

As for Syracuse's Normal yearly totals (read below) most likely we'll be going with the 121.1 average which NOAA has at but I'm going to crunch some more numbers to make sure and also check out the other cities averages.

The big question is did Syracuse hit their normal average for the season? Probably not. After doing some research after being contacted by Jim Teske at TV 9 along with the link above to some stats, there is a good chance that the averages that we use from another section of NOAA may not be correct. I also crunched some numbers from another section and came up with 120.1 compared to the 111.9 that NOAA has in the reports that we use here. More to come tomorrow but hopefully we will get some lake effect snow to put us over what may be the new total of 121.1 . Stay tuned! In the mean time Jim Teske has a good post going on with a summary of the winter so far at

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snow Storm Warnings All Around New York

First off we have another tie between Buffalo and Rochester. The second time they have tied this season.

As for the storm, My guess is that the storm heading our way must have shifted a bit because when I checked yesterday Syracuse, Binghamton and Albany were under a Storm Watch. Buffalo and Rochester were left out. The good/bad (depending on how much you like storms) news is that All of the golden snowball cities are now under a snowstorm warning. The storm also looks to be getting a bit bigger which could be another reason that Buffalo and Rochester are now under the snow gun also. The more the merrier and from reading around a good part of New York state is/will be under a storm warning.

The consensus seems to be anywhere from 5 - 12 inches of snow between late tonight and into Wednesday. A snow day for the kids? It's looking pretty good in my opinion but no hate mail kids if it doesn't happen. What I'm liking about this storm is that there really isn't much of a mention of freezing rain for our areas anyways. It should be cold enough to keep it all snow. Unfortunately some of the south western states are getting the freezing rain and ice as shown on the weather channel.

Will Syracuse surpass their average seasonal snow totals by the end of tomorrow? Looking at the Golden Snowball season snow average it's almost a no brainer that we will. Unfortunately it's not that easy though after an email I received from Jim Teske from TV 9 a great meteorologist here in the Syracuse area. He sent me a good link with monthly stats that add up to a seasonal average for Syracuse of 121.1 inches of snow which is in the 30 year period that we use. You can view those stats at NOAA Stats and Official. Jim's right with those stats>

The stats we use are also from NOAA but are different from what Jim pointed out to me. Rather than post the link because it's a several step process I'll post what I will pull up come the end of May and these are from May of 2008, last seasons yearly normals.


TOTAL 2.1 1996
24 HR TOTAL 2.1 05/12/1996 TO 05/12/1996
SNOW DEPTH 1 05/12/1996
TOTALS 0.0 0.1 -0.1 0.0
SINCE 7/1 109.1 111.9 -2.8 140.2

The 109.1 would have been last years totals for Syracuse and the 111.9 states Normal Value. Perhaps I'm missing something and Normal Value isn't the same as Average??? Thoughts??? Either way I'll get to the bottom of this and maybe Jim will chime in and help me see the way. After crunching numbers all morning all I can say is for some reason I have a headache. More to come as I'm clued in more ;)

Tomorrows headlines at will most likely be if we get just a few inches "Syracuse Passes Their Seasonal Totals, I Think" or "Syracuse Plows by Their Seasonal Averages" if we can stack up at least 11.3 inches of snow. Hopefully the second one ;)

Take it slow tomorrow because the chances are really good that the roads will be nasty tomorrow and as always See Snow - Drive Slow.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rochester Pushes Buffalo Down the Snow Hill

Syracuse remains king of the snow hill still but Rochester didn't like the fact that Buffalo took 2nd place from them. Rochester gathered enough of the white gold to move back into 2nd place. Other than a flurry here and there it's been pretty quiet lately as far as any good storms go. Hopefully we can get back into them.

All of the Golden Snowball award cities are still over their normal averages for the season and also staying above last years totals at this time in the winter. Syracuse is now just under 3 inches away from their normal yearly snowfall so I think it's a gimme now that they will be above their normals for the season.

Looking at the other cities they are all still on track to slip past their totals also. Speaking of the yearly average snow stats you probably see several different totals if your surfing other weather sites. The reason for that is that some go by what the total average is since snow stats were being recorded, others go by the last 30 years and here at Golden Snowball we go by what NOAA goes by which is a 30 year average on a 10 year rolling schedule.

In other words, we use the stats that NOAA uses in which they average the 30 year totals on a 10 year scale. The last time they would have averaged the total snowfall for the GSB cities would have been in 2000 if my memory serves me right and remember it normally doesn't. The next time they will calculate a 30 year average should be in 2010, next year I believe. Personally I would rather see the 30 year average taken on a 5 year schedule but no doubt they have their reasons and know what they are doing :)

Have a great day all!

Monday, January 19, 2009

And It's Buffalo by a Couple of Snowflakes for 2nd

We finally have some kind of change in the line up with Buffalo slipping past Rochester by 2/10 of total snowfall for the season. This is the first change since January 1st when Rochester snuck past Buffalo for second place. Now all we need to make things exciting is for those 2 to catch up to Syracuse and with more than half a season left of snowfall it's definitely possible.

Today we celebrate Rev. Martin Luther King day and of course we all know how fitting it is seeing what is going to happen tomorrow. For the first time in history we will witness something none of us have ever witnessed before. Yup, tomorrow for the first time ever and the only time it will happen my son Shane turns 24 years old. So Happy Early Birthday Shane. Tomorrow the world will be throwing party after party on your Birthday ;)

What? Did you think I was going somewhere else with the history thing? That will probably come tomorrow if I can tear myself away from the TV. In reality though I was thinking of the path that people like the Reverend, Rosa Parks and others laid down to make tomorrow a reality and not just a dream. I'll leave it at that for now.

Have a Great Monday All!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Syracuse Finally Breaks the 100 inch Mark

As I was driving home tonight and cleaned off about 2 inches of snow I think it is safe to say that Syracuse FINALLY BROKE THE 100 INCHES FOR SNOW FALL!. More to come tomorrow.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Supposedly Golden Snowball Oracle Jinxes Again

It seems every time that I'm confident about something and post about it I jinx which ever city I am blogging about. This time it was me posting about Syracuse most likely to hit the 100 inches of snow mark in the last post. Nata, didn't happen jinxed! Syracuse needed only 1.2 inches of new snow and came up 2 tenths of an inch short to drag it on another day. Mark my word we will be over the 100 inch mark come with tomorrows update. OK, I did it again with the jinxing probably but really I'm doing it on purpose to give Rochester and Buffalo a chance to make up some ground, err snow.

I'm starting to hear that the great snow race is over and to that I say not a chance. It seems that this happens almost every year when Syracuse gets a decent lead. Is Syracuse looking pretty right now? You betcha but all it takes is a couple storms to hit the Rock, Buffalo and even Binghamton and miss Syracuse to tighten things up. It happened last season I believe in March when Rochester and Buffalo got slammed with a storm and it almost totally missed Syracuse to force the contest to go right down to the last days. So don't be counting any of the golden snowball cities out of this contest yet. OK, you can probably cross of Albany but other than them the race is up for grabs. OK, enough about the weather.

It's time for couch coaching which means Syracuse Orange Basketball! I haven't got a clue as to what happened on Wednesday against the Hoyas but it was pretty pitiful. A whipping that I don't see happening again for the rest of the season. GT shot pretty good but when you get that many easy wide open shots you should shoot good. Today is a big game just to get the confidence rolling again and I think that will happen. The defense can't get any worse than it was against Georgetown and hopefully Andy Rautins will be back in the game today. No doubt he is a key player on the SU team along with all of the others. Sure he has been pretty hot with the 3's lately but even if he isn't he is still a threat and forces any of the teams we play to open up their defense to cover the long shots. Harris who to me is probably the best overall player on the team needs to do his thing, rebound and quietly rack up some points. I'm liking this team a lot other than the other night for the main fact that we are deep enough this season bench wise and for the fact that they are playing team ball. Very game that they have given the ball up for an assist they have done pretty good. I think today we will see the team I like. DaCuse Will Be In The House Today. Go Cuse!

Stay warm and drive careful. It looks like a clipper should be hitting the GSB cities sometime soon.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Is Tonight the Night Syracuse Hits 100 Inches

I know it's starting to sound like the Marsha, Marsha, Marsha (Brady Bunch episode with Jan being jealous of Marsha) with a lot being mentioned about Syracuse, Syracuse, Syracuse here lately but lets face it, that's the talk right now with the GSB cities. With Syracuse being just 1.2 inches shy of the 100 inch milestone this early in the season there is a good chance for that happening tonight with a little help for the LES machine. The forecasts I'm reading are anywhere from 1 - 3 to 3 - 6 inches possible.

I was reading an article by Charles McChesney who is a writer over at and he mentions that only twice before have we had that much snow by this point in the season going by the National Weather Service records. In the 2000-2001 season, 110.6 inches of snow had fallen by Jan. 14. In the 1995-1996 season, there was 105.7 inches according to his article which can be read at

In a sad news event that took place here in Syracuse, Sean Kirst has an article going that is getting a lot of responses about a terrible tragedy that happened where a 12 year old girl was killed in a sledding accident after she slid into a car parked on the side of the road. He is asking for ideas at his blog and receiving many of them, some of which are pretty good ones in hopes to stop an accident like this from happening in the future. Normally we try to keep this upbeat but IMO this is something that needs to be addressed and the chances are that these kinds of tragic accidents happen in most of the GSB cities. If you have some time visit the post and no matter what city you are from feel free to leave some feedback. Hopefully Sean will forward all of the ides to the city officials to see what can be done to make what should be winter fun for children and adults more safer. Leave your thoughts and ideas at Personally I like several of the ideas some which include the bails of hay and helmets along with building some kind of up slope to slow the sledders down when they reach the bottom of the hill. JMO!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Cold Air is Moving in

I just took a look at the radar and a few snow showers are moving into the area which means one thing. Here comes the cold air that is suppose to move into a good part of New York state and we'll be lucky to reach double digits in the next 2 - 3 days. In other words now is a good time to break out the thermals and the real winter jackets which we really haven't needed so far.

Right now the temperature in Buffalo is 19 degrees, 24 in the Rock and 34 degrees in Syracuse. Within half an hour the chances are that the Syracuse area will be seeing the same temps as Buffalo as the cold air keeps moving. Just a couple of inches here and there is in the forecast but that could change ;) Stay warm and keep count how many times you here Brrrr, it's cold out there the next few days.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Halfway Mark is Near!

Pardon my absence as of late I have been busy with work and the usual random daily bull associated with such. Hmm where to begin. Honestly I don't know where to begin. Speaking on behalf of the Buffalo crowd this has so far been a pretty tame year. Looking at the leader board it would be hard to call this a slow year as all the cities are above last season and well above their averages to this date. I would have to say Buffalo's blues are the result of a lack of a major lake effect storm to really pamper our total. Looking at the numbers so far we have only had three storms that dumped over 6 inches and just one "yard stick needed storm". Don't get me wrong, Lake Storm Hognose on 12/21 was probably one of the worst winter storms I have ever been through in terms of driving (2 hours to travel 14 miles of highway), but Lake Erie hasn't been kind to Buffalo this year. Normally the first half of the season sees the most lake storms the benefit Buffalo in the running. This year has been an exception with areas south of Buffalo getting dumped on daily. Many locations 30 miles south of Buffalo are already over 100 inches this season. While I'll complain this hurts Buffalo in the GSB standings I won't complain too much as this has been a great joy to the ski resorts in WNY and directly benefits my work with increased tourism to the area ski resorts.

Anyways I'm getting off topic here. This week looks to be make or break for Buffalo's shot at the GSB. It's gonna be mighty cold and probably the last week of an ice free Lake Erie. If Buffalo is gonna make a run for #1 it's got to be this week. Syracuse has built an almost sure win lead and I;m getting a little scared of another disappointing loss this season. I;m tempted to do the Buffalo snow ritual but it is usually reserved for times of green grass and extended lack of snowfall. While the lake effect has been poor this year the synoptic snowfall is still adding up to an above average season thus far for everyone. Not to mention you all know what happened after my two ritual last season, one wrong step and I asked for 80 mph winds instead of 2 feet of snow. I'm still trying to get the dance down. I have a new two step planned and I've calculated in for this week to try it out. Get ready Buffalo The General is getting ready to snow dance!

Also... Syracuse WILL NOT break Buffalo's seasonal record this year. No city ever will. The 200 inch mark will be a mark none of the GSB cities ever reach for another hundred years!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Is Buffalo's Seasonal Snowfall Record on the Line

Since the resurrection of the Golden Snowball contest several years back there has really only been one other time when one of the GSB cities had a shot at breaking Buffalo's hold on a snow record. That record which still stands is the seasonal snowfall record of 199.4 inches back in the 1976 - 1977 season. That city was Syracuse a few years back in the 2003 - 2004 snow season in which they had 181.3 inches and if I remember correctly they were rocking and all of the sudden the snow just stopped.

Syracuse's best was still off the Buffalo record by over half a foot piling up 192.1 inches in the 92 - 93 season. The question is, is this the year that Syracuse breaks the all time seasonal snow record and perhaps the first time that one of the cities in the Golden Snowball contest go over the 200 inch mark? Probably not because as soon as I type something like this I jinx the city and everything comes to a stop. Lets hope that's not the case though ;)

What got me thinking about the 200 inch mark was Tom Hauf from the TV 5 weather in Syracuse. He sends out a daily forecast email and last night he sent one with some pretty good stats. According to Tom Hauf, he said that:

"We are 40% of the way through the accumulating snow season and if this pace continues we would end up with 213.4" of snow making this winter Syracuse's snowiest on record".

Looking at the temperatures for the next several days with the highest in the 20's there is a good chance that the snow will keep piling up for most of the GSB cities with no end in sight for the near future. Good news for snow lovers, not so good for snow haters. For the snow haters according to Tom we are 40% through the snow season so just think that the glass is almost half full. The Big question, when it's completely full will Syracuse have the long sought after snow record of 200 inches or more?

Have a great weekend all and drive careful!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Time for Another Sleet, Freezing Rain and Snow Storm?

Tuesday 1:00 PM - Just a quick update as to what NOAA, the national weather service is forecasting for the Golden Snowball cities for later today through Wednesday. Here are the latest warnings and advisories:






NOAA should be posting updates on the weather throughout the day as the storm gets closer and they get a better grip on where it will be hitting. Right now Albany seems to be the one to win/lose this one depending on how you look at it. Hopefully no power outages like the last storm that blew through. Drive carefully and if you See Snow - Drive Slow.

Hopefully just a good old fashion snow storm without the mix of precipitation. I was just peaking at the national radar and it looks like a storm is brewing. This could be one for the Albany area to pick up a bit of snow if it stays cold enough. The more I look at the radar though the more it seems to be lifting more toward central New York and it's still pulling moisture from down around the Texas area. Another thing I noticed is that precipitation is also firing up in several other states and it looks like it may be drawn into this storm system so it could get really interesting come later tomorrow through Wednesday. REMEMBER THE SOURCE, ME (Clueless) so keep checking the NOAA and your local forecasts for updates on this storm. In other words check with the pros who know what their talking about ;)

Right now the Albany area, Utica and areas in eastern NY are under storm watches but I wouldn't be surprised if a good part of New York comes under the storm watch which will/may change to warnings sometime tomorrow. These are the type of storms that I would rather have pass on by for the fact that the temps will probably start off cold and then warm up with the air coming from the south west. In other words freezing rain, sleet and a mix is most likely going to happen with this storm and hopefully it's not too much and stays cold enough to make it more of a snow event. Even just plain Ole rain would be better than too much of the freezing rain.

Again remembering that I'm normally clueless I'm not counting Buffalo or Rochester out of this yet either. To me it looks like anything that is firing up is being drawn into this system and that's including pretty much a lot of the states to the west of us that has something going on. Of course everything can change with the blink of an eye and it normally does with these storms. Keep an eye on your local forecasts and have a super Tuesday All!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Out Scooped by ZR and the Democrat and Chronicle

Grrr, Boo, Hiss and Shame on me. Nothing worse than running a site based on snow and getting out scooped. OK, really it doesn't bug me and that's what makes this fun is getting the help and feedback from the visitors here and ZR is a regular who is always keeping us updated as to what's going on in the Rock. I did notice when I updated the snow stats yesterday that Buffalo and Rochester set a date record of snowfall for the last day in December which I was going to blog about today. What I didn't catch was that Rochester set a total snowfall record for the month of December piling up 46.2 inches of new snow breaking the old record by a tenth of an inch which went back to 1981. Pretty cool in my opinion and monthly records are hard to break. Way to go Rochester! Way to go ZR and for catching it and the same to the Democrat and Chronicle which has a small post about it at

Here are the Month of December stats which I did write down the other day for all the Golden Snowball cities and they are impressive for a few of us. I'm pretty sure Syracuse had a top 10 or better but I'll have to look it up to see where this December rated against other years. Buffalo did good in Dumber but I'm guessing it wasn't even close to some of their best December snow records because they are know to have some snowy Decembers.

Syracuse December Snowfall - 57.0
Buffalo December Snowfall - 49.2
Rochester December Snowfall - 46.2 (New Snow Record)
Albany December Snowfall - 27.5
Binghamton December Snowfall - 20.5 (Dead Last - either I made a mistake or they got spanked by Albany) I'll double check the stats!

Have a great day all and have a Happy New year!