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Tech journalist since the dark ages. Windows Secrets, LangaList newsletter, Windows Magazine (NetGuide, Home PC), Byte, Popular Computing, yadda yadda yadda. Google me, if it matters.

This feed is mostly personal interest; it's NOT my professional writing. There's tech here, yes, but also lots of general science and some politics and weird humor thrown in.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Wx Geeks: Inside Boston's record-breaking winter stats

Just about everyone's heard that a minor snowfall this weekend pushed Boston over the top: This is now the snowiest winter recorded, since official measurement began around the time of the Civil War.

The new snow came after a week of Springlike temperatures, and a weekend of rain --- cold rain, but fully liquid --- that shrank the huge snowpiles to something less than the Ice Age dimensions they'd attained.


A city 'snow farm,' where snow removed from streets is piled to melt naturally in Spring --- melting that's finally started to happen. (WCVB.com)

But to me, the total snowfall wasn't the most interesting part: With climate change, 5 out of 10 of the all-time snow records have come just in the last decade or two. Weather is a heat-driven system, and warmer temps mean stronger weather systems. High school physics.

What was interesting are sub-records like these:

By itself, the 30 days Jan. 24-Feb. 22, would have amounted to Boston's third snowiest season ever --- a near all-winter snowfall record, but in just one month.

Boston also set records, or came close, in:
  • Record snow depth in and around Boston
  • Fastest six-foot (1.8m) snowfall ever
  • Fastest 90-inch (2.3m) snowfall
  • Only the third time ever with four calendar days each with at least 12 inches (0.3m) of snow
  • At least 0.5 inch (1.2cm) of snow had fallen 6 straight days; close to a 100 year-old record
  • Most days with measurable snow in a month
  • etc.
But Spring is almost here; It's usually above freezing every day now, so whatever snow falls, probably won't last too long.

More records:

New England Record Snow Tracker: http://www.wunderground.com/news/new-england-boston-record-snow-tracker