My personal winter rankings

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My personal winter rankings

Post by Math23x7 on Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:59 am

As I have mentioned before, it was in mid-1998 that I first became passionate about weather as a kid.  Since then, I have been monitoring how every winter turns out.  With this winter drawing to a close, I now have 19 snow seasons to look at.  I have seen numerous times on the forum posts giving criteria for a good winter.  Other times, I see "Worst winter Ever" especially the last couple of years, which were relatively mild.  So what I wanted to do, was list the winters that in my opinion rank from worst to best followed by a grade.

Without further ado, here they are:

19) 2001-02, D:  No other way to put it. In the past 19 years, this was the most uneventful winter.  Other than a wintry mix bringing 0.5” of snow on January 7th and the 3.0” of snow on January 19th, the winter was a no show.  Also, it was the warmest winter on record.
18) 2011-12, C:  Wild October snowstorm!  Otherwise, the winter was close to an exact replica of the 2001-02 winter,  The aforementioned October snow, the light-moderate January 21st snow event and then a brief squall line which I did not even notice.  
17) 2007-08, C: Early-mid December looked promising snow-wise, abeit only a couple of inches, then January had no measureable snow.  February had a couple of snow events, including a 6-8” on February 22nd but the theme to all of them is that they were quick to melt/wash away
16) 2006-07, C+: Through mid-January, the winter was uneventful. Then it got bitterly cold like the flip of a switch.  Not much in terms of snow fell, but there were two high impact ice storms that hit the region, one on February 14th, and the other on March 17th and boy was it tough getting around in the immediate aftermath.
15) 1998-99, C+:  Personally, the first winter I kept track of winter storms.  It was relatively uneventful and mild.  There were a handful of light-moderate events though.  Including January 8th and March 15th where I enjoyed being outside.  But because of the snow on December 24th giving me a White Christmas, this winter gets bonus points.
14) 1999-2000, C+: Uneventful through mid-January, we had a surprise snowstorm on January 25th.  I remember waking up and seeing heavy snow come down in total shock.  The snow was also followed by some bitter cold weather so it stayed for a little while.  Also, we had a nice little April snow event on the 9th.
13) 2005-06, C+:  Much of the winter was uneventful as we had one of the warmest Januarys on record.  There were a couple of okay snow events early December and of course the memorable February 11th-12th snowstorm, but it felted very quickly, plus the “Roidzilla” was in a very narrow band which happened to cross through Central Park.  It was a 40” season, but not necessarily a great one.
12) 2015-16, C+:  A really, really bad December, made up for the fact that we had an epic blizzard January 23rd.  Unlike the February 2006 snowstorm, the “Roidzilla” was much more widespread, plus we had high winds.  While it warmed up after the storm, the snow stayed around a bit longer than the aforementioned February 2006 snow.
11) 2016-17, B-:  Mild January and February, but think about this:  we had over 3” of snow in December, January, February, and March.  And they were fun to track, even if we did not exactly get the Godzilla we wanted.  I was originally going to give this a C+ but the two winter storms on 3/10 and 3/14 bump this up that what I have.
10) 2012-13, B-:  It was mostly uneventful but we had three notable events,  February 8th-9th (aka “Nemo”) which paralyzed portions of eastern LI and southern CT,  March 8th which had a nice thumping of snow in parts of the area, and most importantly, November 7th, which occurred nine days after Sandy and hampered recovery efforts.  Combined with the fact that many tree limbs came down under the weight of the snow as many still had their leaves.
9) 2008-09, B:  The biggest snowstorm in over three years gave CPK eight inches of snow, with higher amounts on LI,  but December, January, and February all had decent snow events.  Combine this with the fact that January was a pretty cold month.
8 ) 2000-01, B+:  This winter had numerous snow events all winter long, including (but not limited to) December 22nd, December 30th (“Godzilla” in NYC), January 5th, January 21st, February 5th, and February 22nd.  It would have been a Great Winter had that darn March 4th-6th, 2001 snow event panned out the way it was forecasted.  Nevertheless, the winter deserves a thumbs up.
7) 2004-05, B+:  This winter struggled to get going at times, but once the pattern became favorable, it was a wild ride.  January 22nd-23rd gave CPK a “Godzilla”, three snow events between February 21st and March 1st gave CPK a combined 18”+ of snow.  And let’s not forget March 8th, which was a flash freeze with snow falling which iced the roads making for a miserable commute home.
6) 2013-14, B+:   This winter seemed to have one snow event after another.  And the cold lasted through the end of March.  It’s too bad the cold did not being the snow with it that month.  Also, near the South Shore, we had plenty of mixing issues with many of the storms, so I had a lot less snow than areas surrounding me
5) 2014-15, A-:  A winter which struggled to find itself through Mid-January got going big time.  It’s just too bad about the January 26th-27th “Juno” event.  Nevertheless, we experienced quite the cold stretch for about two months.  Also, many rivers in the region froze, how often does that happen these days?  February 2015 was the third coldest February on record.
4) 2003-04, A-:  This winter gets overlooked but it still noteworthy.  In early December, a storm that was forecasted to be snow-rain-snow being 3-6” of total snow ended up being an all-snow “Godzilla”.  Also from January 6th to February 5th, we experience a cold stretch perhaps colder than the one we had 11 years later.  And the clippers produced.  And we had a nice 6-12” snow event in late January.  Yes, winter backed off in February-early March, though I will say we did get several inches of snow mid-March.  But still, December-January makes this winter a good one for me.
3) 2009-10, A  Three 10”+ snow events, December 19th-20th, February 10th, and February 25th-26th, the latter of which gave CPK 20.9” of snow.  January and March did not really produce and I am still aggravated at the February 5th-6th snow event that missed NYC, but the rest of February and December made it awesome.  And the fact that we had a White Christmas is what gives this winter bonus points.
2) 2002-03, A:  Snow events from December to April.  The highlight of course is the President’s Day Blizzard, but the Christmas snowstorm was amazing.  To date, the one and only time I have seen thundersnow.  I personally think that Central Park zoo had some undercounts regarding snow totals.  This could have been a 50”+ snow season
1) 2010-11, A+:  Okay, we did not have a White Christmas nor was it active all winter long.  But come on!  You have to admit that the six to seven weeks from late December to early February was AWESOME.  The Boxing Day Blizzard was EPIC!  January 12th was a decent 6-12” for the region.  January 21st brought a nice several inches of snow.  And January 26th-27th was WOW!  While brief there were times where we had snowfall rates of three inches PER HOUR, PERHAPS MORE!!!  The snowpack was FEET deep when this was done.  A week later, we had an ice storm which coated the snowpack, making it stay through the thaw which followed it.  And we did have two snow events afterwards, February 21st and March 24th.  They were light, but still nice to see.  Hands down my pick for the winner of the last 19 years.

I would like to see your rankings. And for the older members, especially CP, I would love to see you do this and include more winters.

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Re: My personal winter rankings

Post by docstox12 on Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:55 pm

Excellent Mike, loved reading your descriptions and grading.I'll add a few of my own going back to the stone age.

1959-1960-B Nice snowstorms in December and March of that year.Early march 1960 snowstorm of 18 inches in Fort Lee NJ .

1960-1961-A Not only were there three major snowstorms of 16 to 21 inches, but an extended 15 day period of subfreezing temps in the tri state area.

1963-1964 B A nice 8 inch snowfall on  Christmas Eve and an 18 inch snowstorm in February.

1966-1967-B February and March were very snowy.Febraury snowstorm of 18 inches.

1968-1969 C+ A pretty snowless winter save for the big February 1969 "Mayor Lindsay" snowstrom of 19 inches

Almost a ten year stretch before the next big winter of 1977-1978.Long stretches of below normal snowfall occured frequently in the 70's and 80's.

1976-1977-C+Very cold winter but DRY.In my book, cold and dry warrants a low grade.Without snow, the cold is worthless, IMO.

1977-1978-B+ two big snowstorms in Jan and Feb 1978

1993-1994 A Very snowy with snowpack late November into April.Heavy rain at 21 degrees casued a one inch thick ice sheet that remained as the temperatured stayed below 20 for a week.Some schools closed for an entire week and towns ran out of salt.

1995-1996-A+THE KING.Everybody here knows what happened except for the youngsters and they can read about it.Had 4 foot on the level at one point.Perfect pattern.
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Re: My personal winter rankings

Post by frank 638 on Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:20 pm

excellent write up mike here is mine
1993-1994 -B i dont remember that much because i was only 10 years old lol.but what i do remember was how cold it was i think jan feb and parts of march was the coldest month .in jan we had a morning low of -2*.it was so cold that the long island sound was frozen.besides the cold we had snow storms but lot of them were freezing rain and sleet
storms.

1995-1996a big a+ one of my favorite winter ever that i can remember i say this because we had snow starting from late nov till early april .we had a late start doing our christmas lights due to the cold and snow we had 3 snowstorms.then of course the blizzard of 96 in jan i ended up with 30 inches of snow and the city closed the school down for 2 days.


2002-2003 A+ i was happy to see a white christmas only thing was it happen lat afternoon till midnight .it started off as a rain and sleet event as the day went on it turned to a heavy wet snow we ended up with 5.5 inches of snow.i am pretty sure everyone remembers the presidents day blizzard we ended up with 22 iches of snow. then we had a april snowstorm that cancelled the yankee game we ended up with 4 inces of snow .

2003-2004 b+2005-2006 b_

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Re: My personal winter rankings

Post by frank 638 on Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:11 pm

I made an error for the 95 / 96 winter season for December I meant we had three snowstorms in December

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