The weather extremes of this past decade

Weather

Hard to believe, but the 2010s are just about to come to an end midnight Tuesday night! Central New York certainly has had some memorable weather events take place this past decade.

First, we will start by sharing the hottest, coldest, wettest and snowiest days of this past decade in Syracuse. The graphic below showcases these extremes…

One of the more memorable lake effect snow events took place at the beginning of the decade back in December 2010. It was a four day lake snow event starting on the 5th of December and lasting into the 9th! There was a large storm spinning just north of New England up across Southeastern Canada that didn’t move a whole lot. This system produced a persistent, cold, moist west-northwest flow which delivered a persistent productive lake snow band from near Rochester to the Syracuse area.

2 to 4 feet of snow was common place in Wayne County into Onondaga County, including the Syracuse area! There were even some locales that picked up about 5 feet of snow!! Since the snow was spread out over several days it did make it more manageable, but still wasn’t easy getting around and keeping up with it.

The wettest day of the decade occurred on August 22, 2010 when 4.21″ of rain fell that Sunday! That rainy day helped make August 2010 the 6th wettest August ever recorded in Syracuse.

The summers of 2011 and 2012 were sizzlers and ranked 5th and 4th, respectively among the hottest summers ever recorded in Syracuse!

The temperature reached 101° on July 17th, 2012 and July 21st, 2011 which was the last time Syracuse hit 100 or better.

July 8, 2014 was the most turbulent day of the decade as a strong cold front combined with some upper level energy. This front sparked a line of strong to severe storms that spawned four tornadoes in central New York, including an EF3 tornado, estimated winds of 136 to 165 mph, that ended up killing 4 in the small town of Smithfield in Madison County. A tornado warning was issued for Syracuse early that Tuesday evening. While no tornado ended up forming in Syracuse, the Syracuse area did experience a macroburst, straight line winds that reached up to 85 mph.

Halfway into the decade Syracuse experienced its coldest month ever recorded in February 2015. There were 3 record lows that February: -17 on the 16th, -16 on the 21st and -18 on the 24th. Five out of the top 10 coldest temperatures this past decade were recorded in February 2015 and it was a snowy month too, with 60″ of snow recorded! The mercury never got higher than 32 degrees the whole month and 14 mornings we woke up to below zero temperatures!

The average temperature for the month was 9° which was 16.9 degrees below normal and about 3 degrees colder than the next coldest month recorded in Syracuse’s history which was 12.1° back in February 1934!

Needless to say, Syracuse and CNY looked like a frozen tundra and it was a costly month for many. Due to all the snow and ice build up there was widespread roof and gutter damage to people’s homes.

In November 2016, the weekend before Thanksgiving in Syracuse and CNY was a WILD one! We went from 70 degrees with sun Saturday to a BIG, wet snowstorm late Sunday into Monday that dropped around two feet of snow! 18.3″ on Monday made it the second snowiest day of the decade and one of the snowiest days ever recorded. Thanks to that storm it ended up being the third snowiest November on record, just 7 tenths of an inch from being the second snowiest.

March 2017 was a cold month for Syracuse and CNY and ended up as a snowy month. Most of the month’s snow fell with one BIG storm just before St. Patrick’s Day. It was a bitter and brisk St. Patrick’s parade day in downtown Syracuse and fortunately was right before a foot and a half to 2 feet of snow was dumped on CNY. A few locales near and just south of Utica received close to 3 feet of snow between March 14th and the 16th! The bulk of the snow fell on March 14th when 18.9″ of snow fell making it one of the snowiest days in Syracuse’s recorded history.

Last, but certainly not least, Syracuse and CNY just recently came out of one of the second driest stretches ever recorded in December to round out the decade. 9 consecutive days without any measurable precipitation, plus it was unseasonably mild with some sun much of the time too!

We know there will be extremes in the new decade ahead, but the questions are when, and how extreme will they be in the 2020s??

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