Oswego named best winter weather

Oswego’s notorious winters attract meteorologists from all over the nation and recently Oswego was voted as having the "Best Climate for Winter Weather" in America by The Weather Channel.

Scott Steiger, an assistant professor in the meteorology department, said that while he is not sure if Oswego has the worst winter climate, the Great Lakes themselves cause some of the worst winter weather in the world.

Steven Skubis, also an assistant professor in the meteorology department, disagreed with the title, saying that there are many other areas, not even on the Great Lakes, that have a much worse winter.

"In the Tug Hill Plateau you get much more snow, a tremendous amount between 250-300 inches," Skubis said. "That’s really the place to go for the worst winter."

In Oswego, it is hard to accurately determine how much snow actually falls because of the intense winds which usually come right off Lake Ontario. But Oswego has undoubtedly seen its own fair share of snow with one winter recording a total of 144 inches of snow, according to Skubis. Surprisingly, Oswego also typically has a milder winter temperature, averaging around 30 degrees Fahrenheit, when compared to other harsh climates.

But what causes such extreme winter weather specifically in Oswego?

It is mostly the location on Lake Ontario. Being east of the Great Lake, the lake effect snowfall can pile up as quickly as four to six inches in just an hour, said Steiger."

Conditions from the lake can quickly change, which makes snowfall predictions difficult and often times unpredictable," he said.

The extreme and unpredictable forecasts make an exciting study of meteorology here at Oswego State and the one-of-a-kind climate is truly a unique experience in itself for all students and residents of Oswego.