Golden Snowball Award

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The Golden Snowball Award is an annual award presented to the Upstate New York city that receives the most snowfall in a season. The original award was the result of a friendly competition of National Weather Service offices in Upstate. After the Rochester and Syracuse offices closed in the mid-1990s, the competition died out.

The award was revived during the 2002-2003 snowfall season, in which Syracuse won. It had won every year from then through the 2010-11 season as well. In the 2011-12 season, Rochester was the first city other than Syracuse to win since the award's revival. The prize is accompanied by a ceremonial $100 check to one of that city's school's hat and mitten drive.

Compared to Syracuse's average snowfall of 116.9 inches, or nearly 10 feet per year, New York City's annual snow average is a relatively small 2-3 feet per year in the city and about 3-4 feet per year in nearby suburbs. This is due to a number of factors, including lower latitude and oceanic influence keeping much of the precipitation as rain in the winter, combined with distance from the Great Lakes keeping the city well away from the influence of lake-effect snow. For the first time ever, during the 2005-06 winter season New York City did have more snowfall than Albany, mainly due to the Blizzard of 2006, which was the city's biggest snowfall ever, while Albany was on the extreme northern fringe.

The cities that compete for the award are

Until the 2006-2007 season, several smaller cities also competed for a smaller award, that includes a $50 check. These are:

Winners of the Golden Snowball[edit]

  • 2003-2004: Syracuse
  • 2004-2005: Syracuse
  • 2005-2006: Syracuse
  • 2006-2007: Syracuse
  • 2007-2008: Syracuse
  • 2008-2009: Syracuse
  • 2009-2010: Syracuse
  • 2010-2011: Syracuse
  • 2011-2012: Rochester
  • 2012-2013: Syracuse

Snowfall by Season[edit]

Note: Official National Weather Service snowfall statistics were not kept at the current locations for Binghamton and Syracuse until the 1951-52 season.

All measurements are in inches.

Season Albany Binghamton Buffalo Rochester Syracuse City With Most Snow
1940-41 51.7 79.3 73.7 Buffalo
1941-42 45.2 89.6 66.3 Buffalo
1942-43 45.0 85.5 70.6 Buffalo
1943-44 48.6 58.0 46.1 Buffalo
1944-45 66.8 120.7 94.7 Buffalo
1945-46 54.9 110.5 49.5 Buffalo
1946-47 43.1 65.4 75.5 Rochester
1947-48 90.0 42.1 63.4 Albany
1948-49 44.2 40.1 50.9 Rochester
1949-50 62.6 88.7 81.7 Buffalo
Season Albany Binghamton Buffalo Rochester Syracuse City With Most Snow
1950-51 48.3 71.4 75.8 Rochester
1951-52 69.4 72.2 83.0 75.8 100.5 Syracuse
1952-53 46.0 70.4 55.9 41.7 79.4 Syracuse
1953-54 48.4 65.1 89.9 77.5 91.3 Syracuse
1954-55 36.6 94.8 84.8 69.2 101.4 Syracuse
1955-56 80.2 122.6 105.2 121.4 146.8 Syracuse
1956-57 70.3 90.2 113.7 79.2 76.1 Buffalo
1957-58 74.4 111.0 124.7 130.8 143.8 Syracuse
1958-59 63.2 78.7 114.5 140.6 137.2 Rochester
1959-60 60.1 105.3 115.6 161.7 134.8 Rochester
Season Albany Binghamton Buffalo Rochester Syracuse City With Most Snow
1960-61 72.7 99.7 102.4 89.4 130.5 Syracuse
1961-62 62.6 65.6 101.4 65.6 77.3 Buffalo
1962-63 71.3 95.3 89.8 76.4 118.3 Syracuse
1963-64 77.0 103.3 71.5 92.0 83.8 Binghamton
1964-65 45.8 76.4 70.9 71.1 97.3 Syracuse
1965-66 67.1 83.7 98.3 103.2 118.8 Syracuse
1966-67 80.9 88.5 66.1 74.0 87.5 Binghamton
1967-68 42.2 63.6 71.6 76.7 81.2 Syracuse
1968-69 63.3 64.5 78.4 79.8 99.7 Syracuse
1969-70 87.7 115.8 120.5 119.6 127.6 Syracuse
Season Albany Binghamton Buffalo Rochester Syracuse City With Most Snow
1970-71 112.5 108.6 97.0 142.7 157.2 Syracuse
1971-72 89.3 106.2 109.9 105.1 133.7 Syracuse
1972-73 70.9 67.7 78.8 73.0 82.2 Syracuse
1973-74 58.3 86.7 88.7 99.1 123.2 Syracuse
1974-75 54.6 67.1 95.6 91.2 105.5 Syracuse
1975-76 54.2 76.3 82.5 86.2 95.8 Syracuse
1976-77 70.6 74.4 199.4 92.1 145.0 Buffalo
1977-78 92.4 115.3 154.3 160.9 161.2 Syracuse
1978-79 63.5 80.0 97.3 138.5 118.5 Rochester
1979-80 27.4 56.8 68.4 72.2 93.4 Syracuse
Season Albany Binghamton Buffalo Rochester Syracuse City With Most Snow
1980-81 44.9 59.3 60.9 94.4 79.0 Rochester
1981-82 97.1 81.6 112.4 128.4 137.3 Syracuse
1982-83 75.0 81.0 52.4 59.9 66.0 Binghamton
1983-84 65.2 70.9 132.5 118.0 113.6 Buffalo
1984-85 41.3 62.5 107.2 87.1 116.4 Syracuse
1985-86 62.5 76.3 114.7 70.7 105.3 Buffalo
1986-87 80.6 78.8 67.5 67.1 103.4 Syracuse
1987-88 76.7 81.6 56.4 69.8 113.2 Syracuse
1988-89 19.0 47.8 67.4 86.6 97.8 Syracuse
1989-90 57.9 74.8 93.7 105.8 153.0 Syracuse
Season Albany Binghamton Buffalo Rochester Syracuse City With Most Snow
1990-91 28.7 67.0 57.5 68.3 96.9 Syracuse
1991-92 30.7 56.0 92.8 110.6 167.0 Syracuse
1992-93 94.2 122.7 93.2 131.5 192.1 Syracuse
1993-94 88.1 131.3 112.7 126.2 163.8 Syracuse
1994-95 30.9 52.8 74.6 56.2 66.9 Buffalo
1995-96 86.5 134.0 141.4 130.3 170.9 Syracuse
1996-97 66.6 93.0 97.6 104.7 131.1 Syracuse
1997-98 52.3 92.0 75.6 99.7 134.7 Syracuse
1998-99 44.1 73.3 100.5 111.6 98.3 Rochester
1999-2000 62.1 82.4 63.6 110.7 85.8 Rochester
Season Albany Binghamton Buffalo Rochester Syracuse City With Most Snow
2000-01 77.1 112.6 158.7 133.0 191.9 Syracuse
2001-02 47.4 63.5 132.4 58.1 59.4 Buffalo
2002-03 105.4 117.6 111.3 135.2 153.2 Syracuse
2003-04 65.1 106.4 100.9 125.6 181.3 Syracuse
2004-05 75.9 106.5 109.1 113.6 136.2 Syracuse
2005-06 30.2 74.9 78.2 73.9 124.6 Syracuse
2006-07 45.9 78.6 88.9 107.2 140.2 Syracuse
2007-08 61.1 70.7 103.8 106.0 109.1 Syracuse
2008-09 52.6 73.3 100.2 103.7 149.6 Syracuse
2009-10 45.4 81.4 74.1 90.1 106.1 Syracuse
Season Albany Binghamton Buffalo Rochester Syracuse City With Most Snow
2010-11 87.2 117.5 111.8 127.0 179.0 Syracuse
2011-12 23.3 43.5 36.7 59.9 50.6 Rochester
2012-13 51.4 69.1 58.8 78.1 115.4 Syracuse

Snowiest Season for all Golden Snowball Cities: Buffalo 199.4 inches (1976-77)

Least Snowy Season for all Golden Snowball Cities: Albany 13.8 inches (1912-13)

Max, Min and Average Snowfall by City[edit]

Albany[edit]

Max: 112.5 inches (1970-71)

Min: 13.8 inches (1912-13)

Average: 64.1 inches

Binghamton[edit]

Max: 134.0 inches (1995-96)

Min: 43.5 inches (2011-12)

Average: 84.7 inches

Buffalo[edit]

Max: 199.4 inches (1976-77)[note 1]

Min: 36.7 inches (2011-12)

Average: 93.6 inches

Rochester[edit]

Max: 161.7 inches (1959-60)

Min: 41.7 inches (1952-53)

Average: 92.8 inches

Syracuse[edit]

Max: 192.1 inches (1992-93)

Min: 50.6 inches (2011-12)

Average: 116.9 inches

References[edit]

  1. ^ This is due to the Blizzard of 77

External links[edit]