MEXICO, N.Y. (WROC) — Weather can be endlessly fascinating, especially when you grow up hearing about the big storms that your parents walked uphill in, both ways. Storms and stories like that are what inspired Kellen Bassette to sit down and start writing.
“I knew about the big storms Oswego was famous for [in] 1958, 1966,” said Bassette. “Other than you know the newspapers kind of doing anniversary articles about those things there wasn’t a whole lot of information.”
The book, “A History of Severe Weather to the Lee of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario in Western, Central, and North-Central New York”, as the title states covers an area from Buffalo to out past Watertown. Spanning from 1798 to 2022, the years the book covers are nearly as extensive as the area it encompasses.
“I had this idea that I was going to write this history of the weather in the Oswego area, and I quickly realized that you can’t talk about a lake effect event at Oswego, and not talk about the Tug Hill, and then you can’t talk about something off Ontario about talking about Erie,” said Bassette.
Keeping a weather record since the age of 12, Bassette started research for the book at age 16 on microfilms at the Oswego Library. While his research started early on, the majority of the book was admittedly written in the last few years according to Bassette.
“I would look up the newspapers from that era and see what was happening, in the periods it was available I would go look up the weather records,” said Bassette. “They were pretty sparse the further back you go.”
The book covers many events known well in our area, like the ice storm of ‘91, and even most recently the historic blizzard that impacted Buffalo in December of 2022. But for Bassette, the most interesting event was further back.
“1856, the blizzard of 1856 was the most interesting event to me, and that winter, that winter as a whole,” said Bassette.
For any aspiring authors out there, he offered some words of advice and encouragement too.
“Just go ahead and do it,” said Bassette. “A lot of stuff that really wasn’t available 20 years ago that there is now for an aspire and author and I would say take advantage of all that.”
The book, along with more information on the author is available here on Bassette’s website.