Ah, South Bend, respite from hard winters

A sketch received from Jim Hennegan around 1971 - with a laugh.

A sketch received from Jim Hennegan around 1971 – with a laugh.

South Bend, IN has its good qualities but who’s ever heard South Bend’s weather included on that list?
The exceptions are our own John McCoy and Dennis Gallagher, who both found their climate situations improved when they matriculated at Notre Dame.
“We both came for the mild climate,” John McCoy said, “but the dispute was over who had bettered his lot the most.”
Dennis is from Oswego, NY, which is on the east end of Lake Ontario and directly in the path of the Lake Ontario lake effect.
John is from Bradford, PA (about 80 miles south of Buffalo and 2 miles south of the NY/PA line). Bradford is due east of about the first 200 miles of Lake Erie (the shore line eventually bears north east toward Buffalo). As a result, says John, Bradford gets the bulk of the Lake Erie lake effect and much worse winters than Buffalo sees.
John says he and Dennis have debated the issue for many years. Then a third party stepped into the argument.
“I claimed victory a few years ago,” John said, “when the Weather Channel set up an NCAA BB style bracket of 64 cities and had its viewers vote on which ones had the worst weather. Bradford won in the east region and in its semi-final match-up, but lost to Fargo, ND in the final. If I recall correctly, Bradford was the only one of the six cities that Fargo faced to hold it under 60 percent of the vote.”
And what about present locations? Neither classmate returned to old haunts. Instead, they both live in the DC area, where NBC news reporter Pat Collins keeps track of snowfall with a blue stick and lots of commentary.
In revisiting the argument, John sent two links:
Perhaps global warming is having an effect:

This is the weather channel’s description of Bradford’s climate from the 2011 competition:

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