We haven't had to break out the shovels and snow blowers that often this year. At times, it's become an afterthought!
Take December for example. It ended up as the least snowiest December on record! But January and February ended up being snowier than average months.
Month: Snow Average
October Trace .9"
November Trace 7.9"
December 1.0" 27.4"
January 25.6" 25.3"
February 20.5" 17.3"
Total: 47.1" 78.8"
As of now, a total of 47.1" puts us in 7th place for least snowiest winter on record. Around another 3" of snow will bump us out of the top 10.
El Nino may have played a role in a milder than average winter, but there is no direct link between El Nino and the amount of snow Western New York gets.
Not only did December end being the least snowiest on record, but it was the warmest on record! You can thank an anomalously strong ridge of high pressure over the Eastern Half of the U.S. for the warm temperatures/absence of winter for most of the month.
We eventually landed our first tenth of an inch of snowfall on the 18th (0.1"). It took 257 days to get there, as April 4th was the last time Airport recorded more than a tenth of an inch of snowfall.
Month: Average Temp Above/Below
December 42.1F +12.0
January 26.9F +2.0
February 29.7F +3.4
Not to say we've completely gotten off the hook this year. There were a few sub-zero days in February. However, not as many as there were last year. But the thermometer did dip down to a frigid -12F on Valentine's Day. That's colder than any day last year!
But last year, there were 10 subzero days in the month of February. This year, we only had 2.
All in all, winter was condensed into two months this year. And even in the months where we had snow, wind and the cold, it wasn't comparable to years past. It's ok to sigh a breathe of relief and say, "We lucked out!"