By Alex Lippa
---- — Last year at this time, Josh Hoefle, 21, of Derry was wearing a T-shirt and shorts as he enjoyed St. Patrick’s Day in the 80-degree heat. But this year, Mother Nature had different plans.
“I’m ready for it to be spring,” Hoefle said yesterday. “I just want to be able to ride my motorcycle again.”
While the calendar says spring officially starts today, winter left with a bang yesterday as nearly a foot of snow was dumped on Southern New Hampshire.
The storm began late Monday and intensified between 2 and 7 a.m. yesterday, but police reported few problems with the morning commute.
“It was shockingly calm,” New Hampshire State Police Lt. Chris Wagner said. “The roads were in fairly good shape and there wasn’t a high volume of cars on the road.”
Wagner and local police said there were no major weather-related incidents. Several cars slid off roads, but there were fewer calls for assistance compared to past storms, Wagner said.
“This storm was forecasted and we did a good job at relaying the message for people to stay off the roads unless they absolutely needed to,” he said.
Many people took Wagner’s advice and stayed close to home. Mary Ann’s Diner in Derry was packed with people looking to get out of the house and away from the snow.
“I thought after last week when it was warm, we were done with this snow,” said James Mullen, 52, of Derry. “I’m done with all the snow.”
After an afternoon lull, the snow started to pick up about 3 p.m.
Ryan Breton of Atkinsonweather.com reported that Londonderry received 9 inches and Sandown had 8 inches as of 4 p.m.
Yesterday’s storm was in stark contrast to the weather a year ago, when temperatures rose above 80 degrees. Breton said the high temperature yesterday was 32 degrees, well below the average of 45 degrees for the day.
“Early indications are that the rest of the month should be below normal,” Breton said. “It’s not unusual but we just haven’t seen it recently.”
Tom Hawley, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine, said yesterday afternoon that 82.7 inches of snow has been recorded in Concord this winter.
While the season ranks as only the 38th snowiest winter since the National Weather Service began keeping track in 1867, the total snowfall ranks 22.5 inches above an average winter.
And the snow might not be done yet.
“I can assure that this is not the last of winter,” Breton said.
That news was a little frustrating for some people.
“My oil bills are going through the roof,” Mullen said. “It’s been a big nuisance so far.”