Not measuring up: Mayville, others get least amount of snow ever recorded

OBSERVER Photo by Gregory Bacon Mayville received 103 inches of snow this past winter. It was the least amount of snow ever recorded in the village, going back to 1951-52.

For more than 70 years state Department of Transportation workers have been measuring snowfall in Mayville. This past winter season was the lowest amount of snow they ever measured.

According to the village’s website, for the 2023-24 season Mayville received 103 inches of snow.

Before this year, the lowest Mayville ever had was the 2011-12 season, where it recorded 109 inches of snow.

Records for Mayville go back to 1951-52. Over 73 years, the village’s average snowfall is 199.7 inches. The most snowfall was in 1996-97, when they had 296 inches of snow.

Last year the village had 123.75 inches of snow. That year was unique because it was the only time that Mayville had less snowfall than Buffalo did. But that was short lived. This year, Buffalo had 71 inches, enough to win the annual “Golden Snowball” competition among large cities, but well short of Mayville’s total.

Mayville may have the most snowfall of any municipality in Chautauqua County, but it can be difficult to prove because not every community has snow spotters who measure snow on a daily basis.

Countywide, the National Weather Service of Buffalo has four places where they measure snow – Jamestown, Dunkirk, Fredonia and the town of Portland. But even those four communities aren’t consistent recording totals on an annual basis.

This past winter, all four communities had their snow totals measured, receiving around a third or less of what Mayville did.

Jamestown recorded 36 inches of snow, both Portland and Fredonia had 29 inches of snow, and Dunkirk recorded 25.8 inches.


In Fredonia, the National Weather Service has 40 of the last 73 winters recorded. Of the 40 recorded years, this was the lowest total ever. The next lowest winter was in 1982-83, when 36.6 inches of snow fell. There are no records available for the winter of 2011-12, when Mayville had its previous low recorded.

Fredonia’s record total is the winter of 1976-77, when it received 142 inches of snow. That’s also the year of the famed Blizzard of ’77, when Buffalo received a total of 199 inches of snow for the year.

Mayville that year received 290 inches, six inches less than its record year of 1996-97.

According to the National Weather Service, of the 40 winters recorded, Fredonia’s average snowfall total is 80.7 inches of snow.

Because of the lack of snow from this past winter, there have been concerns raised about the impact it could have on Fredonia’s reservoir.


In Jamestown, snow total records by the National Weather Service are spotty, even compared to Fredonia. There were two seasons recorded in the 1960s, five seasons recorded in the ’70s, once in the ’80s, once in the ’90s, six times in the ’00s, and 7 times in the 2010s. The records were consistent from 2013-14 to today.

Of the 26 years of data recorded from 1960-61 to this past year, Jamestown averages 99 inches of snowfall.

Three of the last four years in Jamestown have been the least amount of snow recorded. This year’s 36 inches of snow is the lowest. Second lowest was the 2020-21 season, with 56.5 inches of snow, followed by the 2022-23 season with 57 inches of snow recorded.

Jamestown’s highest total ever recorded was the winter of 1976-77, where it received 149.3 inches of snow. That was also the same for Fredonia and Buffalo.


In Dunkirk, records by the National Weather Service don’t go back very far. There were no recorded snowfall totals before the 2009-10 season. There were also no totals listed for the 2013-14 season.

Of the 14 recorded seasons, Dunkirk’s lowest total was 24.9 inches for the 2011-12 season. That’s actually lower than this past year’s total of 25.8 inches.

Its highest was the winter of 2014-15, with 110.8 inches of snow, although there were no recordings of the 1976-77 season, when Fredonia, Jamestown and Buffalo had their highest total.

Using the 14 recorded seasons, Dunkirk averages 66.3 inches of snow annually.


The town of Portland only has eight years of record by the National Weather Service, starting in 2013-14, where it had its highest total with 125 inches of snow.

This year the 29 inches of snowfall recorded is by far the lowest of the eight years. The previous low was the 2019-20 season, with 52.5 inches.

Averaging the eight years, Portland receives 83.2 inches of snow annually.


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