16 comments on “Syracuse Slips into The Lead

  1. anonymous, you’ll also notice that official records weren’t kept at Syracuse until the 1951-52 season.

  2. Snowman, opps I meant to say Buffalo averaged the most snow before 1950, not 1960. That’s about the time they started taking snowfall data at the airport, instead of downtown Syracuse.

    Syracuse never averaged the most snow until the 1951-1952 season.

    here are the stats from your own site showing the winner each year before 1950:

    1940-41 BUFFALO ***
    1941-42 *** BUFFALO ***
    1942-43 *** BUFFALO ***
    1943-44 *** BUFFALO ***
    1944-45 *** BUFFALO ***
    1945-46 *** BUFFALO ***
    then Albany and Rochester won.

    1949-50 *** BUFFALO

  3. Anonymous, where are your getting the stats from about before 1960?? Here are some stats that were provided by a fellow Buffalonian


    Whether the airports are relevant or not, this is the way the contest has been going on since the 70’s

    What’s more relevant than any of the airports is the fact that Syracuse’s advantage comes most years when the lake freezes over. As far as I know the lakes haven’t begun to freeze over yet and the temps are still in the mid to upper 30’s.

    So to sum it up, right now it’s advantage Buffalo because the lake effect will continue and as most people know, Buffalo is known for their snow storm totals which are impressive. With the lakes not being frozen Buffalo is still capable of getting one of their well know storms which in my opinion gives them the advantage right now.

  4. Chautauquaman, The airport location does make a difference averaged out over a number of years. Just last year Greece, a suburb outside Rochester, got much more snow than Rochester’s airport.

    Before Syracuse started taking measurements at the airport, Buffalo averaged the most snow in Upstate. Take a look at snowfall totals before 1960. Buffalo averaged more snow than Syracuse each year. Why? Syracuse was measuring snowfall in downtown before it was shifted to the Airport location.

  5. Why the fuss over where Syracuse’s Airport is located. Looking at the total snowfall No.’s last year for the 4 cities tells me even if the A/P was located in Downtown Syracuse, they still would have won the award last year.

  6. Ok, I’m going to see if I can fill in for WeatherMan.

    The Weather Channel and the National Weather Service are 2 different things…you’d have to ask TWxC how they do things. My guess is they get their data from a combination of automation (probably from NWS) and volunteers (Tully, Fulton, etc).

    As far as I understand, NWS uses automation for each of their sites. For the most part, data is sent every hour, though there are events such as tornadoes where data is sent more often, in which case it’s typically a human that is sending the data.

    That should clear up a few things…I encourage all of you to join the forum…you’re more likely to get a quicker response there.

  7. The General, The main difference is that Syracuse’s airport is located closer to the snow belt region near the Tug Hill. As you get closer to northern Oswego County, you average more snow each year. Now if Buffalo’s airport was located 4 miles south of Buffalo, then this point would be mute. As Buffalo’s “snow belt” region is south of downtown Buffalo, not northeast of downtown Buffalo. So if you wanted to compare the locations of the airports, place Buffalo’s Airport in Hamburg and then it would be similar to Syracuse’s airport location 4 miles north of the city limits.

  8. WeatherManNX01, does Buffalo and Rochester Airports take snowfall measurements every hour like in Syracuse?

  9. I hate to defend Syracuse (since I really hate them right now)…

    But I actually believe the Syracuse airport is closer to the “downtown” area then the Buffalo airport is. Hnacock is only 4 miles north of the downtown while BNIA is 7 miles northeast of downtown Buffalo.

    And just a FYI for the anonymous posters, the Buffalo Airport is actually located in Cheektowaga which is not within the limits of the city of Buffalo either.

  10. WeatherManNX01, you say “All sky conditions are determined by automated machines”… then why do I see the current conditions on the Weather Channel for Penn Yen, Auburn, Fulton, Tully etc. (places all around Syracuse)
    report party cloudy conditions, which are the real current conditions in those location and in Syracuse, yet the weather channel reports cloudy conditions in Syracuse? If those small towns can have accurate “current conditions” then why not Syracuse?

  11. One thing I never understood was the phrase saying Syracuse is the snowiest city over 100,000 in the US, when the measurement of snow takes place outside the city limits in an area that gets much more snow. That’s like taking Fulton’s official snowfall measurement in Hannibal. Also, does this mean that if the city of Syracuse drops below 100,000 in population then Syracuse is no longer the snowiest big city the country?

    If everyone wants to be more accurate, then why not call it like it is….Syracuse is the snowiest “Urbanized Area” over 100,000 in population. Syracuse’s urbanized area has a population of 400,000….which include the Airport in the northern suburbs.

  12. This doesn’t have anything to do with Syracuse taking the lead in the contest ~sigh~, but it *is* snow related and really cool…

    These pictures, taken by traffic reporter “Air” Gordon are really amazing. They show a Cessna’s-eye view of a lake effect snow dump coming into downtown Buffalo.

    I hope the URL doesn’t get cut off (I wish we could make links in our comments!), but if it does, just check out the BuffaloRising.com blog for January 30th…


    Very cool!

  13. For Anonymous and Anonymous:

    Everyone measures at the airport. That’s where the primary obs come from. There are cooperative observers, but they only take measurements once per day, and those measurements differ for each observer.

    All sky conditions are determined by automated machines. They do not employ people to look out the window each hour to determine sky conditions. Syracuse does it, and so does Rochester, Buffalo, La Guardia, Reagan, Dallas-Fort Worth, LAX, and everyone else. Accurate? Not always? Consistent across the system? Yes.

  14. I agree with anonymous. If other cities don’t measure their snow the same way Syracuse does, this snowball contest isn’t very accurate. As was pointed out in the past, the City of Syracuse gets much less snow than the Airport, which is located miles north of the city limits closer to the snowbelt in Oswego County.

    The Syracuse airport also has an strange way of determining if it’s sunny, cloudy or partly cloudy. A machine, not a person determines when it’s cloudy or sunny in Syracuse. That’s why there are at least 40 to 50 days a year when the weather channel says current conditions in Syracuse are “Cloudy”….though in reality it’s only partly cloudy with a thin wispy clouds in the upper atmosphere. I believe Rochester’s airport is the same. Current conditions not reflecting what you see looking out the window. Not sure about how Buffalo determines current conditions.

  15. Syracuse measures their snow at the airport (north) which gets a lot of snow. As they measure per hour, the snow doesn’t have time to compact and skews their numbers significantly.

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