MATTICE SUMS UP ANOMALIES
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
2018 was a year of contrasts in Otsego County, according to David Mattice, the National Weather Service’s observer in Oneonta.
Seven months were below normal; five were above normal, he reported after reviewing his records.
Feb. 21 was 75 degrees, a record high for that day. The year as a whole, however, was 6/10th of a degree below normal. And there were two record lows in November, with the month 7.1 degrees below normal overall.
In the first four months, 83.1 inches of snow fell; normal is 78 for the entire year.
“It’s an inexact science,” said Mattice. “But when you see it on paper, you say, ‘Oh my Lord,’ it swings all over the place.”
Some of the details that stood out: There were 155 days below freezing; 165 is normal. The most snow in one day came March 13 – 11 inches. The six record snowstorms around here came in March.
Month by month, January saw 14.3 inches of snow, 2.5 below normal. February was near-record warm, 6.5 degrees above normal with 4.14 inches of precipitation (27.3 inches of snow). March, “the blizzard month,” was 3 degrees below normal.
April was the coldest on record since data was first collected in 1854. It was 7.5 below normal. May was warmer and drier than normal, 2.2 degrees warmer. The following month was 2.7 degrees below normal, and drier than normal, giving crops a slow start.
July “was dead-on,” Mattice said, with temps near or slightly above 90 for the first five days. August and September were warmer, and wetter than normal, which reduced “the vibrancy of fall foliage.”
October was 3 degrees below normal, November set a record cold, and December brought 19.5 inches of snow.
Overall, “It seemed like the wind blew every day,” Mattice added anecdotally.