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Snow!

Posted by HQA on February 18, 2011 - 11:30am

When I came to the AAVSO in March 2005, they had been dumped on - two big snowfalls in January and February, followed by a couple of near-blizzards in March.  However, that year pales in comparison to this winter!

So far, Boston has received 71.2 inches of snow, well above the mean annual snowfall of 41.8 inches - and we still have a solid month or two of winter to go.  The Boston Globe has set up a "Shaq-o-meter", which compares the current snowfall to Shaquille O'Neal, a famous basketball player on the Celtics: http://www.boston.com/news/weather/graphics/2011_snowfall/

Cambridge, being farther away from the ocean than the Logan Airport weather service office, has had more snow than that.  Before the last snowfall, I went out and got pictures of what it looked like around here.  While we have someone that plows the parking lot, he has no place to put new snow, so we keep hoping for an extended warm spell to melt things off.  In the meantime, Matt, Doc and myself have been kept busy shoveling sidewalks and spreading ice-melt on the asphalt.

I came to the AAVSO from Flagstaff, AZ, where the annual snowfall was 120 inches, far more than this piddling amount in Cambridge.  However, the Flagstaff snow was light and fluffy; this stuff is heavier than lead. If you don't get to it immediately after the snowfall, it freezes into ice and then you just have to wait for a thaw in order to remove it.  The biggest problem this year is that the Boston urban area has little yard space - when it snows, you have no place to put the snow that you clear from sidewalks and driveways.  Often you see streets with a parked car, an 8-foot pile of snow, another parked car, etc. - so you've effectively lost half of the city parking spaces.

HQ is nice and toasty; we've got strong backs to clean up whatever comes our way; power and internet are really stable.  It could be worse!  However, I for one think it is time for the robins to return and the tulips to push skyward - let Spring begin!

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A new term for this year.  Snow Farm,a place to put snow when clearing the snow piles. 

 Cambridge, Mass.  is always 2 weeks ahead for spring and forcythia than the suburbs. This year however,my forcythia have been crushed by the ice and rhododendren also, This is why Spring here is always a delight and looking forward to May and May Day and the Spring/Summer AAS meeting.

AAVSO 49 Bay State Rd. Cambridge, MA 02138 aavso@aavso.org 617-354-0484