Top 5 local weather events of the decade

Here are the top 5 weather events of the decade according to the StormTracker2 Team

Posted: Dec 31, 2019 7:51 AM
Updated: Dec 31, 2019 9:15 AM

WKTV - Here are the Top 5 Local Weather Events of the Decade, according to the StormTracker2 Weather Team:

1. Flooding
There have been numerous flooding events that have impacted Central NY over the past decade. The events that stick out include the flooding events of 2011, 2013, 2017 and 2019.
2011: Moisture from two tropical storms caused widespread flooding in August and September of 2011. Hurricane Irene brought a historic flash flooding event to Central New York on Sunday August 28th with major flooding from West Winfield to Litchfield to New Hartford and Ilion. Majority of the flooding occurred just south of the New York State Thruway.
Just a few weeks later, the leftovers of Tropical Storm Lee impacted Central and Southern Tier with more flooding. The hardest hit area was Binghamton but areas like Hartwick, West Winfield, Marcy, Oriskany Falls and Herkimer also saw heavy rainfall.


2013: Herkimer Flooding: During the early morning hours of June 28th, heavy rain impacted Herkimer, Ilion, Mohawk, Fairfield and other various locations in the Mohawk Valley. There were several water rescues and evacuations early in the morning due to quickly rising waters. A State of Emergency was declared in several towns, with one fatality was reported in Fort Plain.


2017: July 1st: A series of upper level disturbances moved over the same location during an extended period of time on this day. Thunderstorms with heavy rain caused flash flooding across the Utica/New Hartford/Whitesboro area, including the Sauquoit Creek and the Arterial. Over 4” of rain fell in less than 48 hours over Utica, with rainfall rates close to 1-2” per hour at the height of the flooding.


2019: Halloween Floods: It was a very warm Halloween across the region with temperatures close to 70 degrees. Rain develops late in the evening with an intense line of showers developing along the front. Heavy rain fell over the same area for several hours, causing major flash flooding. 2 to 5” of rain fell in just a few hours. The runoff caused rapid rises on area creeks and streams. Record flooding occurred on the West Canada Creek and the Mohawk River. The flooding was extensive, from Whitesboro to Dolgeville to Waterville. Numerous roads were washed out or damaged, homes became inhabitable and there were several water rescues. Unfortunately, there was one fatally in the town of Norway when their car got swept away into flood waters.

2. Stella
There are storms that people will talk about during their lifetime, Blizzard of 66, Labor Day Storm, Valentine’s Day Storm and now Stella. We usually do not name winter storms but this one was on a historic level. Snow started early on March 14th as the nor’easter traveled up the east coast. The snow picked up intensity throughout the morning and by the afternoon, the snowfall rate reach 4-5” per hour, with Ilion reporting a snowfall rate of 7” per hour! What made this storm historic is that a majority of the snow only fell in a 15 hour period, causing many people and cars to get stranded. Officially, Utica saw 33” of snow in less than 24 hours! Otsego County was the hardest hit area, with Hartwick coming in at 48.4 inches. Many areas saw over 3 feet of snow on that day. It broke the record for biggest snowstorm and most snow in 24 hours.

3. Coldest Month EVER
The Winter of 2014-2015 was shaping up to a be a cold one with several nights below zero during the month of January but that was nothing compared to February 2015. February 2015 will go down as the coldest month ever record for Utica. There were 19 days where the overnight low was below zero, 9 of them in a row! 5 days saw highs only in the single digits. On top of that, Utica received over 40” of snow! The average temperature for that month was 7°. It beat the old record by 2 degrees!

4. The Winter That Wasn’t
The winter of 2015-2016 was people’s favorite or least favorite winter of all time. It comes in a one of the top ten least snowy winters on record, with only 31” of snow. One of the most remarkable things about that winter is that the snow never stayed around. Once the snow fell, it melted within a few days so there never was a snowpack. Many winter businesses suffered from the lack of snowfall that season. Only an inch fell during the month of March and December was one for the records with only one day of below 32 degrees and on Christmas Eve, it was 68 degrees!


5. Smithfield Tornado
During the late afternoon and evening of July 8th, 2014 thunderstorms developed across Western NY. One particular thunderstorm became severe in Onondaga County, heading in the direction of Madison County. From that storm, another storm developed quickly, heading straight for Smithfield, Madison County. That quick developing storm produced an EF2 tornado with winds up to 135mph. The winds were so strong that a home was lifted off its foundation and tossed across the road. The tornado was only on the ground for 5 minutes but during that time period, 4 people lost their lives.

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