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EDITORIAL: C'mon Old Man Winter, give us your best shot

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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 12:55 pm

Your glass can be half empty, or your glass can be half full. 

Or, it can be buried deep in the snow and, at this rate, probably not seen again until May, unless, of course, you hit it with a shovel or snowblower.

We’ve had a long, harsh winter, and while “ugh” and a kind of silent seething were the most common reactions to the news that another storm was coming this week, maybe it’s better if the snow keeps piling up. At this point, we should be hoping for a truly historic winter. After all, no one plays “remember when” with the fourth- or fifth-worst winter, and if we’ve got to go through it anyway, we might as well be able to complain about it for years to come.

As of this writing, snowfall is at 2 inches and rising rapidly on this latest storm. As many as 18 inches of snow are expected by the time it ends on Wednesday, which means the first day of spring will be whiter than Christmas and we’ll still have to go to work. 

It would be a fitting end to a winter that has made miserable everybody but the skiers and snowmobilers, if it were actually the end. Another storm is expected Thursday, then perhaps another next week. 

“What do we got, like 100 inches of snow?” comedian Bob Marley told our sister publication, the Lakes Region Weekly, last week in promoting a heating oil fundraising event. “Right? It is unbelievable.”

(C’mon, it’s fun if you say it in his voice. Give it a try.)

Actually, Marley is not far off. Before the first flake fell Tuesday morning, Portland had recorded 88.2 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service, more than the average of around 61 inches and twice as much as last year. If this storm doesn’t put the area over the century mark, then the next one will. This season will almost certainly become the snowiest in the last decade, beating 2008 and its 103 inches. Then, we’re not far off from 1993 (115.6 inches) and 1996 (123). 

Topping those two years would give us the snowiest winter since 1971, which at 141.5 inches looks like it is out of reach. Throw in the mid-February storm that dumped 30 inches on Portland and 35.5 on Gorham – the largest in a long, long time – and you have what amounts to a very historic winter. Something to write home about. Something to tell the grandkids.

Something to take away from this endless season other than lower back pain and a yard full of sand and salt.

– Ben Bragdon, managing editor


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