Does Weekend Storm Speak Volumes About Winter to Come?

November 1, 2011
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Most of us heard the lament loudly and clearly over the weekend about the snow coming so early, preceding even this week’s Halloween celebration. In more ways than we care to conjure up, snow this early and so plentiful in nearly all of Massachusetts except for Boston and the coastal area, is a bad sign of things to come – or is it?

Despite many self-professed weather prognosticators telling us that the weekend dumping of white stuff was the first in history in October, it clearly, incontestably was not.

Boston weather forecasters and meteorologists recorded 1.1 inches of snow in Boston on October 29, 2005. So for those of you suggesting that snow this early has never happened around here before, there is the need for a memory jog.

Before the October, 2005 snowfall, the most recent date beside that one occurred in Boston with 0.2 inches recorded on October 10, 1979.

Before this, records reveal that there was measurable snow in Boston in October, 1952 – but not very much.

Measurable means more than a trace of snow.

In addition, there have been repeated instances of snow in New England and in Boston during October, the earliest going back to 1899.

In other words, the weekend snow storm was unusual but it was not extraordinary to the point of creating a new standard.

What it did do, however, is to awaken us rather suddenly to the harsh reality that winter is here. It has come earlier than usual and that its appearance before Halloween is not an inspiration to those of us hoping for a kindler, gentler season.

The fall was extended and unusually warm. There was the faint hope held by some of us who tend to dream a bit too much that the fall could go on forever, like an endless wave, so to speak.

The weekend snow drowned out hopes for an easy and shorter winter season.

Instead, the vast implications of the first winter snow arriving in the form of a wind driven storm before Halloween is a bit like getting off on the wrong foot at the start of a long journey.

Does the weekend storm speak volumes about the winter to come?

Probably.

Is it a guarantee?

Probably not.

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