Final Snow Season Summary for the
Golden Snowball Snow Race for 2007 - 2008
By The General
Well the 2007-2008 Contest is a wrap, congratulations to Syracuse
(AGAIN) and to the other runner ups. It was a heck of a contest this year,
and the closest ever final numbers. Below I have the winter broken down by
month of the big events. I am from Buffalo, so it might have some bias in
the events, but if anything major is missing add a comment and I will put
it into the narrative. Comments, Corrections, Suggestions? Drop a comment!
The big stories this season...
1. The lack of major lake effect snows for the cities and a trend toward
more synoptic snowfall for a good chunk of the later part of the season.
There were a few decent lake effect storms this year, but I think many
cities seen a larger percent then usual of snow come from storm systems
this season. I don't have the numbers to show this but if anyone does
please feel free to comment.
2. The year of the leap frogs as the cities changed places quickly and
often. The early months seen quite a few changes and even some big jumps
of two places at a time. No one really held a safe lead at any time. One
storm could and often did change the leader board.
3. Slow and steady won the race this year. No really hefty snowstorm
totals this year the cities just kept tacking on the snow day after day.
No city ran away with a lead and they all pretty much kept up with each
other throughout the season.
The 2007-2008 season got off to a fairly average start. As usual Buffalo
recorded the first snowfall of the season with 2.5 inches of lake effect
falling on November 7th. While this wasn't the same as the 22 inch lead
the city had to start to last year's contest you have to start somewhere.
Three days later Binghamton was the second city to ring in snowfall with
about a half inch falling.
The following week Syracuse and Rochester finally got on the board as the
lake effect machine began it's usual late fall rollercoaster of squall
lines. While the contest was still young it got interesting early. Two
days after Syracuse's first snow they managed to sneak ahead of Buffalo
for 1st place. Just a day after that the big guns were out in Binghamton
and they snuck ahead of both Buffalo and Syracuse!
Thanksgiving came and went with little action on the snow front, we kept
busy with Pat making some shameless plugs on the site. November ended with
no huge amounts of snow but plenty of place jumps by the cities to get the
December started off with a return to the snow and yet another jump by a
city, this time Syracuse taking over Binghamton for first place once
again. The beginning of December also brought our first major winter storm
potential for everyone. After the hype a whole lot of nothing fell for the
cities. As the winter storm warnings feel lake effect warnings went right
back up. The lake effect really got cranking later in the first week of
December with Syracuse quickly adding up the inches and another leader
board shakeup with Rochester jumping from fourth to second and Buffalo
dropping from third to fourth. Syracuse, Rochester, and Binghamton really
kept the totals moving upward fast in December with some daily record
snowfalls while Buffalo kept Albany company in the basement.
As we moved into the middle of the month we started looking at our second
hyped up winter storm for the cities. The storm turned out to be a bit of
a bust from the forecasts but still the first major storm of the season
for the GSB. Buffalo and Syracuse picked up a foot, Albany and Rochester
saw 8 inches and Binghamton came in last with only 3 inches. Buffalo
skated back into third place with their first foot snowfall of the season.
The snow looked good heading into the Christmas holiday but little of that
lasted until the holiday, and it was mainly a green and brown Christmas
for most places.
We headed toward the end of December and the end of the 2007 year with
little more action going on.
News Years Day was marked with the Ice Bowl in Buffalo and also seen a
return to some snow. Almost a perfect weather picture for the outdoor
hockey game with a lake effect band dropping some fresh snow for the game.
The New Year also saw Albany making a dramatic run trading places and
sending Binghamton to fifth and be only 3 inches behind Buffalo in third.
After the early snow to start the New Year off things turned spring like
in the GSB with temps getting into the 50's and 60's for many places
breaking tons of temperature records. Buffalo recorded three consecutive
days of record high temps on January 7th, 8th, and 9th. The record temps
came to a quick end as a return to cooler weather was marked by a very
unusual overnight squall line of severe thunderstorms. Hail, Thunder,
Lightning, and Winds over 70mph did some damage to parts of Western and
Central NY. I almost forgot to mention I did my first snow dance of the
season the day before these thunderstorms but guess I got my foot worked
mixed up somewhere.
By the middle of the month the snow started to fall again and the battle
for 3rd, 4th and 5th place really got close with Buffalo in 3rd being a
mere 2 inches from falling into last place Binghamton. The lake effect was
on and off regularly throughout mid January but there was little movement
of the cities during all of this. Syracuse was slow in adding the inches
and Rochester took advantage of some lake effect to keep inching towards
The middle of the month was also the first real large and extended lake
effect storm. Totals on Lake Ontario reached over 30 inches in the Fulton
and Oswego areas.
Feeling the heat coming I went out for another snow dance heading into the
final days of the month. The results, still not so good. Again high winds
of up to 80 mph hit WNY and up to 60,000 people lost power. There was some
improvements as the thunderstorms were replaced with lake effect snow
however. The storm was very interesting as it pounded Buffalo with
blizzard conditions for several hours and even closed the NYS from Buffalo
to Rochester, the first and only time the snow closed the section of
thruway in the 07-08 season. An amazing 9 1/2 "storm surge" occurred on
Lake Erie causing damage to the ice boom and flooding several areas along
The month came to a close with Pat trying his feet at a Syracuse snow
The month started ripe with some snow and ice falling across the GSB.
Enough fell for Binghamton to sneak into fourth place and again drop
Albany to the basement. The shortest month of the year moved quickly as
another major storm was hyped heading into the middle of the month. Again
another storm and another bust. Some snow a bit of ice, and rain. The
cities all kept adding a bit here and there but no more changes. The
standings remained fairly close and on February 15th were as follows
Syracuse – 76.0
Rochester – 68.5
Buffalo – 59.8
Binghamton – 50.2
Albany – 44.8
By this time Lake Erie was 85-90% frozen however a surprise lake effect
storm fired up off Lake Erie somehow and got Buffalo back into the run for
the top spot.
The month came to an end with two more major storm forecasts both turning
out to be bust storms, a few inches for all of the cities, but nothing
huge to change the standings much. Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo headed
into a close battle for the top three heading into the end of the month
while Binghamton and Albany had a battle for last.
What a suprise we started the month with yet again back to back winter
storm hypes and again NOTHING! So when yet another winter storm was hyped
heading into the second weekend of the month some of us turned a cold
shoulder to the warnings. Well this one turned out to be a whooper storm
for some of us! Buffalo added up a whooping 21 inches over the weekend
while Rochester can in with over a foot. This jumped Buffalo into second
ahead of Rochester by an inch and put them only 6 inches behind Syracuse
in first. The contest was really getting close!
Just a day later as we neared the middle of the month Rochester snuck back
into second place, but Syracuse kept adding little by little to keep both
Rochester and Buffalo in check. Meanwhile Binghamton and Syracuse which
were so productive earlier in the season really trailed off in snow in
The month concluded with some wet flakes but again no changes to the
A few flakes but it was a wrap before the month started as most of the GSB
seen a month of much above average temperatures and one of the warmest
Aprils on record for several cities. Once it hits 87 in April in Buffalo
you can hang your hat the snow is done!