SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR)- Early January, for many, is still a time of reflection. In the weather office, if we’re not too busy with big storms in the forecast, we’re looking back at the previous year and reflecting on the numbers.
Speaking of numbers…
Here are a slew of numbers relating to what we reported in 2021. How many do you remember?
There were a total of 17 90-degree days. This wasn’t a record number of 90-degree days. We average nine per year. We did hit a record for number of 90-degree days by the end of June though, that was 11. In 2021 we had 21 days of 90-degree heat. The most Syracuse has ever had was in 1955 with a total of 28.
I’m sure you’re thinking “Well, with all that 90-degree heat, we surely had several heat waves”.
We had two. A heat wave in Syracuse is defined as 3 consecutive days of 90 degrees or higher. We had two by the end of June. The most we’ve ever had in a single year was four in 1949, 1955, 1988, and 2002.
We sure had consistent warmth this year. When you look at the average temperature, combining the highs and lows, for each month, 11 of the months had average temperatures that were above the 30 year normal. The one month that wasn’t above was February and even that month was less than half a degree below average. It the second warmest year on record for Syracuse.
Now the amount of time the Storm Team said “temperatures are above average” during the year, well that was too many to possibly count.
One is the loneliest number… unless you don’t like the cold. Syracuse only had one day with a temperature below zero. It happened on February 12, the temperature was one below.
We don’t need deep cold to get snow. Syracuse had a total of 62 days with measurable snowfall (0.1″ or more). Most of these days were early in the year. January had 17 days with measurable snowfall. The first month of the year also had the day (measuring from midnight to midnight) with the most snowfall, 4.9″ on January 22.
For perspective, Syracuse averages 66 days per calendar year. In 2020, we had 55 days. The most in a calendar year was 85 days in 2007.
Overall, 2021 did lack in the snow department. The average snowfall measured in one winter season is almost 124″. In 2021, we measured 72.2″. Are we happy or sad about that?
20.6 was the percent of MAXIMUM ice cover on Lake Ontario last year. This value was more than 2020 but less than most other years since about 1970.
October was the wettest month of 2021. That month alone contributed to 15.6% of all the precipitation that fell for the entire year. Syracuse’s total precipitation was 47.84″, making it the 9th wettest year on record (average precipitation is 39.71″).
So, we’ve established 2021 was kind of soggy. Do you remember the heart of summer? In particular, the weekends?
It seemed like we couldn’t catch a break from the rain. Looking at the weekend numbers, that would be accurate.
The number of weekend days between Memorial Day and Labor day that had a trace or more of rainfall would total 21. Only seven days were totally dry, at least at the airport.
To further establish it was a soggy year, we had 25 days, from midnight to midnight, that had half an inch of rain or more.
On the flip side, we did have a few mini dry stretches and one that was quite long. It happened in May, from the 13th to the 22nd, the airport received absolutely no rain. That’s a 10-day stretch and it was the longest one of the year.
Unfortunately, we did have a good amount of severe weather across Central New York. There were 3 confirmed tornadoes in the Central New York area. Two tornadoes were confirmed in Oneida County (Westernville and Point Rock) and one was confirmed in Tompkins County (Dryden). All were EF-1 tornadoes that happened between June 3rd and July 8th.