Kingston Snowfall History

February 1, 2016

This is a plot of cumulative seasonal snowfall in Kingston going back to the winter of 2004-2005 (represented here as "2005") when I began consistently recording snowfalls. Since then, the average seasonal total has been 45 inches with a standard deviation of 14 inches. Seasonal extremes during this time have been a maximum of 72 inches in '04-'05 and a minimum of 22 inches in '11-'12. The average accumulated snowfall by the end of January has been 22 inches.

Strictly speaking in the snowfall department, this winter (the red line) has a lot of similarities to 2006-2007 (grey line). Per the chart, both seasons ended January with less than 2 inches. As reported at Mohonk Lake, both temperature and total precipitation during December and January of these seasons were nearly identical. Beginning this week, however, this winter will quickly begin to etch into uncharted territory, firmly falling behind 2007 as the least snowy winter. 2007 benefited largely from two major snow storms (12 inches on Valentine's Day, and 16 inches on St. Patrick's Day). Unless this winter can produce at least two Hudson Valley storms of this caliber, winter 2015-2016 will be of a similar nature to 2012 (brown line) … a.k.a the year the plants bloomed in March … with only a slow accumulation of snow.

Nationally, this winter has so far produced a fair amount of strong storms. Most of these have passed to our northwest, resulting in mainly rain. A few, however, have passed to our southeast but just too far away to bring us snow — including Winter Storm Jonas last week. Given the range of storm tracks this winter, I remain optimistic for at least one mid-February/March storm that tracks just close enough to our south east to help boost the snow totals. Without such a scenario it is quite likely that this winter could rank among the least snowy on record. The next 2-3 weeks will largely determine the fate of this season.

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