When Paul ’65 and Chrystal Laird Cardinali ’64 vacation in Cape Cod each spring, they hope for nice weather. Of course, “nice” is a relative term.]
“When I go to the Cape, I want hurricane force winds, high surf and rain,” Paul says. Spoken like a weather watcher whose earliest inclement memories include playing in the remnants of Hurricane Hazel in the mid-1950s.
With personal weather records that date back to 1958, Paul has been observing weather from his Fulton home and sharing his snowy findings with Central New York media outlets for the better part of five decades. The retired high school earth sciences teacher of 34 years even developed his own computer program to track the snow measurements.
“I’ve been pulled out of snow banks several times in my endeavors,” he says of the days he and Chrystal spent chasing storms with late Professor Emeritus Bob Sykes while studying earth sciences at Oswego.
“A little older and wiser,” the couple lets the storms come to them now, says Paul.
“When I see a big storm is coming, I want it,” he says. “But, I don’t want to shovel it off the roof — the excitement is still there though.”
He and his fellow Central New Yorkers are certainly in the right place for weather.
“Anyone who has lived since 1960 has seen some of the best and worst of the weather that we’ve had in 150 years,” says Paul, who has analyzed data going back to the 1830s. Some of the worst events in his memory occurred during the winters of 1966, 1974 and 2003.