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Mild Winter Doesn’t Raise Watershed Concerns… Yet

Photo shot by Gino Geruntino, WIBX.

Utica, NY (WIBX) – In what has been deemed by the National Weather Service as the mildest winter since 2001, the lack of snowfall has raised eyebrows.

Higher than average temperatures have kept the snow from sticking around, but according to Dave Nicosia with the National Weather Service in Binghamton, the light winter is somewhat of a reprieve from last year.

“In the Syracuse area, 27.6 inches of snow has fallen in the area this year, 41.3 inches below normal,” Nicosia said. “This time last year, 111.8 inches had fallen. So last year, we were about 40 inches or so above normal at this time, and this year, we’re 40 inches below normal.”

Patrick Becher, executive director of the Mohawk Valley Water Authority says the lack of white stuff is also looming on the horizon for them. A lack of snow means the watershed has to rely more on rainfall to fill the area’s watershed.

“The danger of course, is that the precipitation that is coming down now, at this point in the winter, is not being stored in the form of snow up in the watershed,” Becher said. “It’s that storage on the ground that later recharges the reservoir.”

Luckily, Becher says the watershed fills quickly, needing only four inches of rain to fill to capacity.

One thing both men agree on – we’re not out of the woods yet. There’s still a lot of winter left.

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