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Snow or No?

Pros, area snowplowing companies offer their outlook for the plowing season

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

Will this represent an exceptional winter for Central New York?

“This year, El Niño is in place heading into winter for the first time in four years, driving the outlook for warmer-than-average temperatures for the northern tier of the continental United States,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s website.

NOAA’s U.S. Winter Outlook was released in October by the Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. If its outlook comes true, it looks like local snowplows and shovels may have less white stuff to move — and lower profits from the season.

But the Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts that “snowfall will be above normal across most snow-prone areas” for this winter. That likely will include Central New York, providing plenty of “pennies from heaven” for plow trucks to move.

“It’s about time!” said Anthony Pauldine, owner of Anthony M. Pauldine General Contractor in Oswego. “It’s been pretty light for quite a few years.”

His company offers snow plowing services both for the properties he manages and other properties, “since we’re geared up for it,” he said. “We have a lot of properties and residential and commercial contract places that we snowplow. We clear snow per time and seasonally. If it’s not snowing, we’re busy working and if not, we’re plowing.”

His company operates eight plows serving Oswego, Fulton and Scriba.

Todd Abry, owner of AAA Quick Plows & Lawns Inc. in Clay, thinks that the season will unfold slowly. In late November, he anticipated a warmer December, with snow increasing in January and February.

“It may be more snow in March as well,” Abry added. “You never really know around here though. For the last three years it’s been easy. We’re expecting a heavy year to hit us. It might be. We’ll have plenty to do if it does, which gives us a lot to stay busy with.”

Lake effect snowstorms can be challenging to predict, even for weather forecasters. Arby said that he usually turns to News Channel 9 for weather forecasts.

“It seems to be the most accurate,” he said. “We live off the weather so that’s what we go by.”

AAA Quick Plows & Lawns has six plow trucks that serve Cicero, North Syracuse, Clay, the city of Syracuse, East Syracuse, Liverpool and a few locations in Minoa and Fayetteville.

According to, the average cost for snowplowing services ranges between $30 and $90 per snowstorm, depending on the size of the driveway. Contractual services range between $200 and $600 per season. Snowplow companies using this pricing method charge the same amount regardless of the number of visits.