EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 27, 2013

Snowman's land

February can't end soon enough for some winter-weary folks

By Alex Lippa

---- — February may be the shortest month of the year, but it sure hasn’t felt that way to some residents.

Many are frustrated with the weekly storms that have produced a near record snowfall in the region.

“I’m just done with it,” said Linda Pischetola of Windham. “I can do two snowstorms a month, but that’s it.”

A National Weather Service meteorologist said Concord had received 41.4 inches of snow this month as of yesterday, making it the eighth snowiest month on record so far. That ranking should go up today.

Meteorologist Margaret Curtis in Gray, Maine, said Derry should see 4 inches of snow in a storm which will affect the morning and afternoon commutes. But just south in Salem, Curtis said it is likely they will only see rain. The storm will mix between snow and rain throughout the day in the area and is expected to start at 6 a.m. The heaviest snow will come in the late afternoon.

“It’s one of those storms where I wouldn’t be surprised if people who are on a hill get 6 inches, but people just 10 miles away see nothing,” she said.

New Hampshire House Speaker Terie Norelli wasn’t taking any chances. She canceled today’s session, due to the forecast. Committees will meet tomorrow.

Ryan Breton of Atkinsonweather.com said the amount of snowfall to date this month was expected by some of the models he was following before winter started.

“We knew the second half of the winter would be worse than the first half,” Breton said.

Breton said Atkinson has received 55 inches of snow this winter, 35 inches of that this month.

The news of another storm is the last thing that some people wanted to hear.

“I’m just so sick of the snow,” said Kim Benoist of Nashua, who was at the Salem Post Office yesterday. “I’m just ready for spring. It’s just a mess as it is.”

Even some youngsters are frustrated with the amount of snow.

“I’m getting tired of it,” said Chris Gravener, 13, of Sandown. “We won’t even get school off (today) because we’re on vacation. It just means more chores which come with it.”

More snow doesn’t bother Domenic Castellano, 11, of Derry.

“I wish it would have come last week, but it just means more snowball fights,” Castellano said. “I love it every time it snows.”

Others shared his enthusiasm.

“I love watching it come down and watching my great-grandkids play in it,” said Dick Heafey, 74, of Salem. “I just wish I was young enough where I could be outside playing in it.”

But with the snow comes shoveling and inevitable back injuries. Joseph Smith, a massage therapist at Water’s Edge Salon and Spa in Derry, said they often see an increase in business in February.

“Most people are shoveling wrong and they get discomfort from picking up snow the wrong way,” Smith said. “People are lifting with their back, which puts extra strain on their knees. A lot of people come in because of that.”

But others just go to get away from the snow.

“There are plenty of people who are just sick of the snow,” said Nancy Jacovina of Hampstead Massage and Wellness Center. “People want to come here and just relax for a little bit.”

Stress can build up during the winter months. Psychologist Paul Wright of Derry Counseling Services said too much snow can lead to depression.

“It can be a contributing factor to vegetative depression,” Wright said. “People who are stuck inside all day just want to get out. They get anxious and more introverted.”

For Windham resident Pischetola, there’s one way to deal with winter stress.

“I’m going to Florida in two weeks,” she said. “I’ll leave the snow here.”