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History of Utica's Weather Records

By Charles Parsons

Utica has one of the oldest sets of weather records in the United States! We have some records that go back into the 1800’s, and our monthly precipitation records go back to 1826! We worked with Richard Morris, a local Meteorologist and president of the Central New York chapter of the American Meteorological Society, to fill in the gaps that exist in the weather records prior to 1950. Where possible, we have also filled in those gaps that exist prior to November of 1926.

Record Specifics:

- Monthly & Yearly precipitation records date back to January 1826

- Monthly extremes for rainfall and average temperature date back to January 1826

- Daily records for temperature and rainfall from January 1889 to December 1892

- Monthly snowfall records exist for the winters of 1889-90, 1890-91 and 1891-92

- Partial records of temperature and rainfall, both daily & monthly exist for January 1911 to October 1926

- Consistent records of daily highs, lows, and rainfall date back to November 1926 (small gaps 1932-1937)

- Consistent records of monthly snowfall date back to October 1914

- Consistent records of daily snowfall date back to December 1950

Sites of Weather Observations:

- Pre 1911: Several sites within the city of Utica.

- January 1911 to October 1926: Residences of W.E. Young and Hugh Hughes in Utica, NY

- November 1926 to August 1948: Downtown Utica at the Utica Gas & Electric Company (known in the 1940's as Central New York Power Corporation which then merged with Niagara Mohawk)

- September 1948 to November 1950: A combination of records from the old Utica Municipal Airport in Marcy, NY (near present day Wal-Mart Distribution Center)

- December 1950 to 2006: Oneida County Airport in Oriskany, NY (Town of Whitestown) located off Judd Rd. and Airport Rd.

- Between the end of 2006 and beginning of 2007, the official site was down for transport to Rome. An NWS Co-Op site in Westmoreland (www.cnyweather.com), about two miles northwest of the Oriskany site was used during the overlap.

- Since January 2007, Griffiss Business and Technology Park and the new Oneida County Airport in Rome, NY is the only official National Weather Service reporting site in the Utica television market (Oneida, Herkimer, Otsego Counties) in CNY

Sources of our Weather Records:

- Records of the United States Department of Agriculture

- The Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, State University of New York at Albany; Albany, NY

- Oneida County Airport; Oriskany, NY

- Northeast Regional Climate Center (NRCC); Ithaca, NY

- National Climatic Data Center (NCDC); Asheville, NC

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