The winter with (almost) no snow (so far)

snowfall winter to date 2015-2016 January-20

Totals via the NWS Albany website.

You've probably heard about the icy, snowy apocalypse that's targeting the East Coast over the next few days. And right now it looks like the Capital Region will be hit with... nothing. OK, there's a chance of a little bit of snow -- but basically nothing.

This has been a weird winter so far here. It's been unusually warm. And probably somewhat as a result of that, we've had an abnormally low amount of snow. (The amount of total precipitation is slightly above normal.)

Have a look at the graph above. The light blue is the "normal" seasonal snow accumulation total for each day going back to December 1 -- and the dark blue is the accumulation total for this winter. As of Wednesday, this winter was behind the normal snowfall accumulation total by 23 inches.

It's only late January, but the current snowfall total of 5.5 inches at least puts us in the conversation for one of the least snowy winters on record here. The record is 13.8 inches, set in the winter of 1912-1913. (On record in this case means since 1884-1885.) Anything less than 28.7 would put this winter in the top 10.

Of course, there's plenty of winter still to go. And one or two coastal snow storms that take a turn toward upstate could easily pile up 30 inches of snow.

If it does ever decide to snow again... Check out the NWS Albany's new probabilistic snowfall forecast page. It has maps of the Capital Region depicting the probability of various snowfall totals.


It's El Nino causing this. And it's not very likely for us to get a significant snowfall this winter because of it. Look to the winter of 1997-1998 to understand. That was the last year there was a strong El Nino.

Compared to last winter - this is the best winter ever.

As a winter lover, this makes me shed a tear (several in fact)!!

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