Wondering about winter in WNY?

Average dates for snow in Rochester.

Rochester, NY - Rochester just finished with its 5th hottest summer on record. Meteorological summer is defined from June 1st through August 31st.

Here are the numbers:

Not only was it a hot summer, but it was also a humid summer as you'll see in the details below. So, now that the big heat and humidity are out of the way, you may be curious about the upcoming winter in WNY.

Although many factors influence our winters in Rochester and the Great Lakes region, one interesting comparison lies deep in some our lesser-advertised weather numbers.

In our local weather forecasts, we track the dew point temperature, and this summer has featured a tremendous number of days with a dew point temperature higher than 70 degrees.

In fact, 2018 has featured 489 hours with a dew point temperature equal to or greater than 70 degrees. Since 1948, we've only had one summer with more dew point hours at 70 or over in a season.

For comparison, the average summer in Rochester has 133 hours.

Now, you may be wondering why you're reading an article about heat and humidity when the headline is talking about snow.

Many of the winters that Rochester has experienced after warm and very humid summers have been notably snowy.

In fact, some of the winter's that followed exceptionally humid summers had substantially above normal snow.

Take for instance the summer of 1977, the following winter of 1977-78 produced the cities second greatest snow on record at 160.9"

Now, i'm not suggesting by any stretch of the imagination that the biggest correlation to a snowy winter in Rochester, is a humid summer that preceded that winter. Let me get that straight, but it is interesting that the top 7 most humid summers produced winter snowfall for the following winter around 15% above normal.

Here's how some of our more humid summers matched up with the winters that follow (since 1948):

Like anything, time will tell how this winter unfolds. Many other factors will be considered in seasonal forecasts that come out in the next month or so. It will be interesting to see if winter 2018-19 reaches our average annual snow, which is around 100", or if this winter follows the average snow from our warm and humid summers on the list. We'll keep you posted!


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