NWS: Rochester sees wettest meteorological winter on record

(ABC 6 News) – The National Weather Service in La Crosse, Wisc. revealed on Monday that Rochester had the wettest meteorological winter season on record.

A total of 6.43″ of precipitation was recorded at Rochester International Airport from Dec. 1, 2022 through Feb. 27, 2023. It’s the most precipitation during a meteorological winter season (Dec. 1 through Feb. 28) on record. Data records go back to the year 1886. The previous record was 6.30″ during the 2018-2019 meteorological winter season.

January and February were especially wet. The NWS says January was the third wettest (2.41″) on record and February the second wettest (2.40″) on record in Rochester.

The NWS says around one-third of the precipitation fell as rain (2.19″) and two-thirds fell as snow and sleet (4.24″).

A total of 42.3″ of snow fell, which is 7.4″ above-normal, making it the 14th snowiest meteorological winter season. The snowiest was 68.2″ in 2018-2019.

Meteorological seasons are different than astronomical seasons because they are grouped into three months and based on the annual temperature cycle. They also have less variation in season length and season start making its easier to calculate seasonal statistics. Whereas astronomical seasons are based on the position of Earth in relation to the sun and can vary in seasonal length making it difficult to precisely calculate and record statistics.