Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- Even though more typical winter weather may be on its way in the next few days, don’t expect huge snow totals across Central New York.
With just about a foot of snow so far this season, we are well below normal, and the lack of snow may actually help us come spring.
This is definitely not the landscape we’re used to seeing in mid-January. Even in the highest parts of Onondaga County, you’re hard pressed to find any signs of winter. But unlike western states that rely on snowpack and its eventful melt for water supply – we don’t. Actually, thanks to the rainfall we’ve had the past couple of months, we’re just a little below normal levels when it comes to the water table.
"Here, typically what we'll see, you'll have cycles of melting and thawing. So at any given time over the course of the winter you might only have 12 inches of snow on the ground, maybe even a little less so we don't really rely on it to store the water that we ultimately end up using in the summertime,” said Steve Shaw, with SUNY ESF.
Shaw says this is a pretty good gauge of our water levels right now. Take a look at any creek or stream around you. Shaw says it should be flowing about normal or actually may even be a little faster and higher than it should be this time of year.
"Say you go into March and you have 12 or 15 inches of snow on the ground, and then you get a rainfall event on top of that, that's sometimes when you see the higher stream flows in a given year. But if we sort of maintain this pattern we've had with pretty minimal steam flows on the ground, you might not see the early spring flooding either so in some ways you might avoid some negative consequences of having snow on the ground,” Shaw continued.
Only time will tell if we’ll be dealing with typical mid to late winter Central New York weather.
And even though we’re way below last season’s snowfall totals, we’re actually a little ahead right now with precipitation levels compared to last winter.