EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 14, 2014

Granite Staters fed up with winte

Many residents are suffering from snow fatigue

By John Toole
jtoole@eagletribune.com

---- — People suffering from snow fatigue in New Hampshire have good reason.

National Weather Service statistics reviewed yesterday show more snowstorms thus far this year than last, although less snowfall.

The statistics for Concord through yesterday recorded measurable snowfall on 18 days since the first of December with more snow expected today.

Last year through the same period, the weather service recorded snow on just 15 days.

“But we’ve had less snow in total,” meteorologist Tom Hawley said. “We had bigger storms last year than this year.”

Total snowfall this year through midnight Wednesday was 43.8 inches. For the same period last year, the snowfall total was 49.4 inches.

The biggest storm recorded in Concord this year before yesterday was 10.3 inches for Dec. 14-15. Last year, Concord saw 24 inches on Feb. 8-9.

Before the storm winds down today, the weather service forecast most people in the region should see 8 to 12 inches of new snow.

Regardless of what groundhogs might conclude, people should expect more snow to come.

“We can see snow right through the first and second week of April,” Hawley said.

People commenting on Facebook yesterday admitted they are fed up and not just with the snow.

“I am more than ready for spring,” Rose Chretien Noetzel said. “This non-ending snow and frigid temps is just getting to be too much. It is too cold (most days) for the kids to even play outside.”

Others are marking the days until spring.

“I’ve been done for some time now, 35 days until spring,” Stephanie Tsepas posted.

But some hardy souls are even enjoying what they say is a typical winter.

“Love it! This is how winter is supposed to look in New England,” Paula MacLeod Woodfill wrote.

It’s what Granite Staters should expect, some said.

“This is a true winter,” Diane Behrens wrote. “The milder ones have made people forget what it’s really all about.”

The winter fatigue is showing its colors at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.

“This weekend marks the beginning of school vacation weeks, so we are seeing lots of families heading south to escape the weather,” airport spokesman Tom Malafronte said. “The Fenway faithful have also been spotted heading to Fort Myers to welcome the Red Sox back.”

School districts across Southern New Hampshire canceled classes yesterday.

People appeared to be heeding warnings to avoid unnecessary travel and there were no problems with the morning commute.

“So far, so good,” New Hampshire State Police Lt. Nicole Armaganian said just before 10 a.m.

State police encouraged people to stay off the roads. If people had to drive, police cautioned them to drive slowly and keep distance from plows.

“Traffic volumes were lower with school closures and the forecast of a major storm,” said William Boynton, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.

DOT had posted an advisory speed limit of 45 mph on Interstate 93 from Salem to Concord, as well as sections of Interstate 89 and Route 101.

Crews were busy plowing and snow was expected to fall at a rate of 1 to 2 inches per hour during the afternoon, Boynton said.

Manchester-Boston Regional Airport saw many flights delayed or canceled.

“We were able to get a number of commercial, cargo and general aviation flights out this morning,” Malafronte said, “but have a significant number of cancellations and delays for the remainder of the day.”

He expected that situation to continue into the first part of today, but said the airport would remain open and hoped to have airlines back on track as soon as possible.

“Since we’re approaching school vacation weeks, most, if not all, of our seats are full, so it may take several days for the airlines to reaccommodate their customers,” Malafronte said.

Unitil Corp. had warned customers of potential power outages.

“Wetter, stickier snow can have a greater impact on the system compared to drier, fluffier stuff,” spokesman Alec O’Meara said.

The utility had arranged for additional crews to be available.

“We will be prepared to address outages, should they occur,” O’Meara said.