As far as snow, Mother Nature has been easy on us the past couple of weeks, while no doubt the time for much more of the white stuff is coming.
For those who love hitting the ski slopes at our nearby resorts, we recently learned a bit of information to remind us of our place in the annals of snow in New York state.
A local reader recently pushed an online item to us that many will find interesting: Cattaraugus is the snowiest county in New York, according to msn.com, and Ellicottville is right in the center of it.
Indeed, the online feature listed the snowiest counties of each state (including Florida) based on weather data from the past three winter seasons.
It notes that total snowfall during the last three winters (2016-18, November through March) was 684.1 inches and the average snowfall during the snowiest winter month was 45.61 inches in December 2017.
The one-day snowfall record (according to records from 1886-2017) is 29 inches on Feb. 20, 1960.
Of course, not every part of the county gets hit with equal intensity when it comes to snow — particularly the lake-effect variety for which the snowband areas are so well known. The southern parts of the county certainly enjoy some protection from being in the Allegheny River Valley, while the northern and more elevated parts of the county are taking the heaviest snows — and giving the county its well-earned reputation.
Meanwhile, how does Cattaraugus County stack up to the snowiest counties in other states? Very well, thank you.
Only six other counties — all in the West and all part of high-mountain environments — had higher three-year snow totals (2016-18) than Cattaraugus.
They were: Teton County, Wyoming, 699.4 inches; Delta County, Colorado, 827.2; Salt Lake County, Utah, 953; Klamath County, Oregon, 1,030.5; Placer County, California, 1,274; and Pierce County, Washington, 1,386.3 inches.
Santa Rosa County, held as the “snow capital” of Florida, at 0.7 inches over the three-season period, had the smallest total of any county listed in the survey.
The next-smallest snow total (2.6 inches) was Hawaii County, which, yes, can get snow on its high volcanic peaks.