With another decade complete, the National Weather Service has updated the climate averages, which include daily high and low temperatures, and what we’re all interested in here, daily and seasonal snowfall. Because of international agreement, these averages use 30 years of data, the 3 most recently completed decades. Since the beginning of our Golden Snowball website, we have been using the averages from 1971-2000. However, soon we will be using the “new” averages, which are from 1981-2010. I’ll have to look into the “true” ending for snowfall when I get a chance as the snowfall season goes from July-June, which is different than basically every other stat. My guess is when they compute the snowfall averages, they use the snowfall for each year (1990), rather than each season (July 1990-June 1991).
I figured I’d take a look at the “old” averages and compare them with the “new” ones.
Of the 5 GSB cities, only Binghamton and Syracuse’s averages have gone up. Syracuse is now the only city with an average of 100 or more, as Rochester falls a half an inch short at 99.5. The biggest difference between the averages is Albany’s, a decrease in 3.5 inches.
You may have noticed that I keep calling these averages, while most other people call them normals. That is because I generally try to avoid using “normal” when talking about statistics like these. To me, “normal” gives the false impression that the average is what you should expect, what “normally” happens. As any of the long time residents in the GSB cities know, the only thing normal about our winters is their abnormality.