Where's Winter?

11:59 AM, Feb 21, 2012   |    comments
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BUFFALO, NY - While the southern states of North Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia get hit with winter weather, Western New Yorkers are wondering what happened to the season.

Official data from the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport station of the National Weather Service shows Buffalo had the third lowest snowfall on record in December, followed by a near-average January, and as of now February is on track for perhaps the fourth lowest snowfall on record.

Add it all up, and we're around 44 inches below where we would normally be at this point.

When it comes to temperatures, we're also approaching records. February is on track to become the third warmest on record.

"The jet stream is sitting so high right now," Storm Team 2's Kevin O'Connell explained. "We are sitting absolutely perched for one of the all-time great snowless and warmest winters we've ever had."

There are positives and negatives to the weird winter we've experienced. Many of the positives are obvious -- local governments are saving money in salt and overtime, heating bills are lower than normal, and there's been less overall winter aggravation.

On the flip side, many have been negatively affected, from skiers to businesses that rely on the snow.

2 On Your Side Gardening Expert Jackie Albarella explained some of the downsides to our gardens.

Albarella predicted most blooms will happen 3 to 4 weeks early, and if that is followed by a late-season freeze it could be devastating for local plants and flowers. She said the maple syrup crop has been impacted by the weather. Finally, she warned of an increase in garden diseases and pests like mosquitos.

Allergies are also expected to hit earlier and perhaps be more intense than normal.

For more on the impact of the weird winter, watch the video player for a full report from 2 On Your Side's Michael Wooten and Photojournalist Scott May.

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