First Alert Weather In Depth: Do wet summers lead to snowy winters?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — There is no way around it, here in Rochester we have had a very wet Summer and with just over a week left in meteorological Summer (June, July, August), we have already cracked the top 10 in wettest summer’s on record.

As of august 23, Rochester has recorded 13.26 inches of rain for the season, and with rain in the forecast through much of the next few days we will continue to add to that total and potentially climb the list even higher. The wet summer hasn’t just been a Rochester, New York thing either. It has been a very wet summer across much of upstate New York.

Canandaigua has recorded its seventh wettest summer, Syracuse has recorded its eight, and Binghamton its ninth. With summer coming to a close, meteorologists have already turned their attention to fall and especially winter. With that in mind, what do rainy summers typically mean for the following winter?

In Rochester we average 100 inches of snow per season. By looking at the top 10 wettest summer’s on record for Rochester, many of them followed up with over 100 inches that Winter. Six out of the nine on the top 10 list came in with total snow around 110 inches or higher. Two out of the nine recorded less than 70 inches (Out of nine with 2023 in the top 10).

This means that a snowy winter is favored more than a snowless winter — but this will just be one of the many factors we look at when forecasting a seasonal outlook and more will be shared as we approach the colder season.