Chip Ford's 1974 Catalina 22 Restoration Project
Sail #3282  l  Marblehead, Massachusetts

Only three days to the vernal equinox and Spring '07 . . .
if you can believe it!
March 17, 2007

After a week of balmy weather which saw sunny temperatures climb into the high 60s, no one could be blamed for thinking spring had arrived, perhaps early but teasing us nonetheless.  Tease it has done, giving us but a taste of what's to come eventually but isn't about to happen yet.  This is, after all, New England in mid-March.  (See:  The Storm of March 12, 2005)

Yesterday the Boston Herald reported ("Sign of spring? Mass. braces for big storm"):

The Bay State is bracing for some wicked wintry weather this weekend, as a major storm slams the region starting this morning, according to the National Weather Service.

“This is a very complicated storm, one of the more complicated storms we’ll see,” said Glenn Field, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The nor'easter is still raging out there at 5:00 am, but has now turned to heavy rain, making a real sloppy, heavy mess with flooding anticipated.  Hopefully, most the snow will be washed away by the rain, melted with a few days of warmer weather, gone without a trace but mud.

The only good to be said about snowstorms this time of year is -- the evidence, even this 8" of now compressed slush, doesn't stick around very long.  Unlike the squall earlier this month -- another soggy one that turned into concrete-like ice for about a week with the Arctic blast that followed, the coldest period all winter -- this mess shouldn't last long. But beware, "famous last words"!  Worst comes to worst, I've got my Yaktrax -- more essential than even snowshoes can be this winter!

As winters in New England go, compared to some this hasn't been a bad one to endure.  It's been more a problem of freezing solid what little snow has fallen.

March 18, 2007; 8:20 am

The worst case scenario is here.  The slush froze solid again last night.  I just went outside, it's 23° out there.  I needed to stretch on the Yaktrax just to keep my footing on rock-solid ice.  Cleaning up that driveway so I can get in more firewood from the racks will definitely be a problem unless if I can get Donovan the construction/plowing company to get back here to his truck today and finish the job: I need the wood in here soon.

Yesterday, after shoveling out a path from what used to be my driveway around the front of the house to the side door, where I cart in the firewood, I ran the Blazer in 4-wheel drive up and down the unplowed driveway, spinning its wheels.  If the sun doesn't reach color to warm up the ground, it only reflects off and the white snow and never melts.  I'd hoped -- since the plowing company did such a poor job -- that it would melt before it froze.  There was too much far too heavy snow/slush to shovel, and it was too wet to use the snowblower.

Click thumbnails below for a larger picture



The backyard just before dusk, wind NE gusting to 40 mph.
Mar. 16, 2007
The frontyard just before dusk, wind NE gusting to 40 mph.
Mar. 16, 2007
But warm and cozy inside.
Mar. 16, 2007
Looking out the driveway lot after our plow guy came through -- sort of.
Mar. 17, 2007
From the street toward the house.
Mar. 17, 2007
Chip Ahoy (Carpe Diem behind) alongside the house.
Mar. 17, 2007
Why did the plow stop here?
Mar. 17, 2007
The woodpile rack covers took a beating under the heavy, wet snow.
Mar. 17, 2007
Yesterday, while it was still slushy, I ran the Blazer in 4WD back and forth breaking through the snowpile left by the lousy plow job. (The plow truck is parked in front of my Blazer in this shot.)
Mar. 18, 2007
This morning the ruts are frozen like concrete again. It's impossible now to pull a cart of firewood from the racks to the path I shoveled out yesterday.
Mar. 18, 2007
The plow returned at 3:00 pm (after a few phone calls from me), and got the lot and driveway squared away.  Now it's just a matter of letting the rest melt.
Mar. 18, 2007

Enough with winter already, bring on spring!

The Boston Herald
Saturday, March 17, 2007

Snowstorm knocks Hub cold:
Deluge, slush in forecast today

By O’Ryan Johnson

Scores of accidents clogged snow-packed roadways in and around Boston yesterday as the second major winter storm of the season thundered across the state.

North of Boston was hardest hit, as Interstates 495 and 93 - covered by state troopers in Andover and Concord - were littered with spinouts, rollovers and cars off the road, but fortunately no significant injuries were reported, said state police Lt. Bill Power.

Accidents backed up Massachusetts traffic far into the Granite State.

“I got a call from a guy who said he was sitting in traffic in New Hampshire at the 14-mile marker,” Powers said.

The National Weather Service in Taunton predicted the snow would first change to rain, then to sleet and freezing rain late last night, leaving Boston with five to nine inches of heavy snow accumulation.

Today, the forecast looks just as bad, but with heavy rain rather than snow falling before noon, accompanied by temperatures around 36 degrees and wind gusts of 19 to 22 mph.

The National Weather Service issued a gale warning through this morning for seas from the Merrimack River to Rhode Island, predicting wind gusts of up to 45 knots with visibility less than a nautical mile.

The Coast Guard has the 270-foot cutter USCG Campbell on standby in the middle of Cape Cod Bay, where Cmdr. Charles Richards said last night it was 28 degrees and the water was “slushing up pretty good.” He said the seas are expected to reach 18 feet sometime today. He said portions of his 100-strong crew are de-icing the deck in preparation for freezing conditions.

“There’s talk of 12 footers out there, and it’s building to 18 tomorrow,” said Richards, predicting a bumpy ride. “We would make it. It would be very uncomfortable, but the ship can take it. It would not be a fun experience.”

The Boston Globe
Saturday, March 17, 2007

Snow hobbles evening commute
By Christine McConville

Near white-out conditions and slippery, snow-slicked roads combined to make last night's commute slow and ugly.

The region's roadways, police said, were riddled with minor weather-related accidents.

"It's slippery," said Quincy police Sergeant Steve Kring, as officers responded to a rash of emergency calls. After receiving nine calls about car crashes or spinouts, officials decided to equip all cruisers with snow chains.

"We also have sanders and plows out," Kring said. "With everyone coming home from work, they're doing the best they can."

The Massachusetts State Police said that drivers were traveling about 20 miles an hour on highways in Greater Boston and that most of the accidents were caused by drivers trying to drive the posted speed limit. The snow began to fall about noon, and by the evening rush hour, heavy white flakes were falling fast.

"It's snowing hard everywhere," Hayden Frank, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Taunton, said about 5 p.m.

New Hampshire was especially hard hit. Meteorologists predicted as much as 20 inches of snowfall in the northern part of the state, and, in anticipation of heavy snowfalls, several communities postponed Saturday town meetings. Also, Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama canceled a gathering scheduled for tonight in Keene.

As evening progressed, snow gave way to sleet. The sleet was expected to turn into heavy rain, which forecasters predicted would fall into the early-morning hours.

"The heaviest precipitation will be over by daybreak," he said.

The melting snow and rain is expected to block drains and cause some flooding in low-lying streets and near small streams. "If a flood happens, we're prepared," said Peter Judge, spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

Throughout yesterday, when as many as 8 inches fell in Greater Boston, the Massachusetts Highway Department flooded roads with equipment to treat roads, spokesman Erik Abell said.

By midafternoon, the department had 2,700 pieces of equipment treating roads statewide, and more were expected to be added as the night went on.

"We'll continue aggressively treating the roads throughout the night," he said.

Shortly after 4 p.m., the state's Department of Conservation and Recreation declared a snow emergency and prohibited vehicles from parking on the department's many roadways.

The storm caused other problems. Newton police said a man lost three fingers in a snowblower.

A series of crashes just over the Massachusetts border in New Hampshire affected traffic on Interstate 93, causing backups in northern Massachusetts.

Lawrence police Sergeant Robert DiBenedetto said there were only minor problems in his city. "It's been pretty good so far," he said at 6 p.m.

Even public transit was hobbled by the snow: The MBTA's Riverside Line experienced 25-30 minute delays yesterday afternoon due to an inbound train disabled at Woodland Station on the Green Line.

Emergency responders weren't taking any chances. By late afternoon, the state's Emergency Response Team -- which includes a battery of state and federal agencies -- was ready and assembled in Framingham.

"If people need sand bags, we've got sand bags," Judge said.

Meanwhile, at Logan International Airport, which had been virtually crippled by a Valentine's Day storm, thousands of travelers found themselves stranded, when the airport closed to travel for about 30 minutes about 5 p.m.

By midafternoon, airlines had canceled 160 incoming flights and 136 departing flights, spokesman Phil Orlandella said, adding that the figure was likely to grow as the evening approached and snowfall intensified. Logan normally handles a total of about 550 departing and arriving flights on Fridays.

Travelers met delays and cancellations with mixed emotions.

"It's been a long day," said Elaine Levasseur, about an hour before the airport closed. She was waiting for a flight to Florida.

Nearby, Ashley Lingerfeldt, a banking consultant who was trying to get a flight home to Charlotte, N.C., remained optimistic about his changing weekend plans. "At least I get to spend St. Patrick's Day in Boston," he said.

Peter J. Howe and Mac Daniel of the Globe staff, Globe correspondent Michael Naughton and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

The Boston Globe
Sunday, March 18, 2007

Storm buries chance to set a record
By Tracy Jan

Jamie Nelson of Peabody cleared snow yesterday from Friday's storm. Rain turned the region into a slushy mess. In Boston, the storm ruined the city's bid to escape with the least snowy winter on record. (Globe Staff Photo / Dominic Chavez)

It looked like it was going to be a record-breaking winter, a walk on the mild side with hardly any snow.

But Boston's chance to break the record for the least snow ever recorded was ruined by the storm that dumped more than 8 inches on the city Friday and early yesterday, according to the National Weather Service.

As the wintry blast moderated to a light drizzle yesterday morning, homeowners scrambled to clear the heavy slush from sidewalks, alleys, and driveways.

"As Bostonians, we know we wouldn't have gotten away into spring without a good snowfall," said Natanya Brown, 27, who was leaving her South End home to go to the gym. . . .

Snow-shoveling procrastinators were doomed to get out the ice picks today, with temperatures expected to drop below freezing last night, hardening slush and puddles .

With spring only a few days away, only 6.4 inches of snow had fallen in Boston by last Thursday. But then the storm arrived Friday afternoon, piling 8.1 inches onto the total.

The record for the least snowy season in Boston was set in 1936-37, when 9 inches of snow fell, according to the National Weather Service.

Records have been kept since 1892. If the city were to receive no more snowfall, this winter would be the fourth least-snowy ever, said Nicole Belk, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton.

No snow or rain is expected today. Belk said the day would be mostly cloudy, with a high in the upper 30s and an overnight low in the lower 20s. But tomorrow may bring some light rain or snow, she said.

Spring officially arrives at 8:07 p.m. Tuesday.

Jack Gurnon, owner of Charles Street Supply Co. & Hardware on Beacon Hill, said business was brisk yesterday as he sold shovels, ice chippers, rock salt, and Duraflame logs. Half a dozen customers were lined up before he opened at 8 a.m., he said. Others came in reluctantly.

"I've had a lot of people say, 'We're just going to wait for the sun to come out next week.' And then they come back later in the day after they try to get their cars out or try to walk down the sidewalk," Gurnon said. "A late-season storm is always fantastic. I don't have to store anything over the summer."

Yesterday's temperatures kept severe flooding at bay, said Eleanor Vallier-Talbot, another meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Small streams and rivers flooded into backyards and secondary roads in Bristol and Plymouth counties, she said.

Few weather-related car accidents were reported yesterday as the storm cleanup wound down, other than a single-car rollover and a two-car crash on Route 128 in Newton in the morning, said Sergeant Robert Bousquet, a State Police spokesman. No injuries occurred in either accident. . . .

Mayor Thomas M. Menino urged residents and business owners to clear sidewalks for safety during today's St. Patrick's Day Parade in South Boston.

The Boston Herald
Sunday, March 18, 2007

Wave of wintry weather on way out in Bay State
By O’Ryan Johnson and Laura Crimaldi

Ice-encrusted snow, again. Slushy streets, again. Slippery sidewalks, again. SUV drivers barreling down highways, lofting huge cakes of snow from their rooftops.


Mother Nature threw another wintry party this weekend and left us to clean up the mess.

The good news is, the wet weather appears to be over, and while precious little sunshine is forecast for today and tomorrow, temperatures are expected to stay above freezing, with highs in the upper 30s and westerly winds between 10 and 15 mph with gusts up to 30 mph, according to the National Weather Service. . . .

A flood warning was declared for parts of Plymouth and Bristol counties, but fire officials in those areas said they had yet to see rising water. “It’s not bad at all,” said Plymouth Fire Lt. Jeff Aylward. “I guess that’ll depend on the weather, but we haven’t had any disaster and mayhem.”

State police meanwhile reported multiple spinouts and a few overturned vehicles but no fatalities.

The snowfall total broke into double digits along a band north and west of the city that stretched from Newburyport (14 inches) to Worcester (16 inches), according to spotters for the National Weather Service. Boston Common recorded 7 inches, while the city itself was hit with 9 inches.

The sun is expected to return Tuesday, lifting temps above 40 degrees, and the weather service predicts the mercury will top 50 by week’s end.

The Boston Herald
Thursday, March 22, 2007

Spring makes a splash in the Bay State
By Herald staff

The second day of spring will bring a shower as the Bay State awaits sunny weather and warmer temperatures.

Temperatures will be mild, in the 50s under mostly cloudy skies, but pushing 60 degrees. Breezy wind gusts around 16 mph will carry us into the afternoon and evening as the skies gradually clear up.

Tonight, showers are expected after midnight and the lows will dip to near 40. Cloudy skies will give way to sunshine on Friday morning. A high near 60 will also warm things up and give the spring rain a nice send-off.

Expect weekend temperatures to be mild.


Return to Top of Page