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Spring is here, believe it or not

  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Sap buckets and maples collect snow in Shelburne on Tuesday.

    Recorder/Paul Franz
    Sap buckets and maples collect snow in Shelburne on Tuesday.

  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Makenzie Plasse clears snow off the car during Tuesday's blanketing of snow.

    Recorder/Paul Franz
    Makenzie Plasse clears snow off the car during Tuesday's blanketing of snow.

  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Sap buckets and maples collect snow in Shelburne on Tuesday.
  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Makenzie Plasse clears snow off the car during Tuesday's blanketing of snow.

GREENFIELD — If you’re tired of winter weather, you’re in luck.

It’s finally spring. Don’t let the snow showers we’re supposed to see tonight tell you any different.

The last snow of the winter fell Tuesday, and by the time it was done, the half-foot of snow it brought meant more than 49 inches had fallen in Greenfield since December, twice last year’s 24.5 inches.

The biggest storm that season didn’t even happen in the winter. People in the hilltowns woke up on Oct. 30, 2011 to see nearly two feet of snow, and Greenfield recorded 9 inches. The year before that, the last snow fell on April Fool’s Day, though it only amounted to about an inch.

So, have we seen our last major snowstorm this year?

“My answer is a definitive ‘no,’” said Greenfield’s resident meteorologist Tom Bevacqua.

“The models are saying there could be another major storm Monday into Tuesday,” he continued. “That’s still six days out, (and could change), but it’s on the charts. If it materializes, the models suggest it will be a significant snowstorm.”

He declined to venture a guess at possible accumulation, saying it would be “foolish” to do so with a week to go before the snow.

It might seem like we’ve had a lot of snow already, especially to those who shovel it, but, all things considered, we got off pretty light.

“In terms of snowfall, Greenfield and much of the Pioneer Valley have been cheated this year,” said Bevacqua. “Much of the eastern and central parts of the state were absolutely hammered by storms that were supposed to hit us.”

Even the hilltowns were somewhat spared, he said, at least those in our area. The Worcester hills weren’t as lucky.

Though totals from this last storm were mostly between 4 and 6 inches for Franklin, Hampshire, and Hamden counties, with Worcester County seeing everything from 11 inches in Lunenburg down to 4 inches in Holden, other storms this year have been more varied.

A March 8 storm dusted Greenfield with 2 inches of snow, but blanketed Worcester with more than 22 inches. February’s blizzard buried Greenfield with 20 inches of new snow, while Framingham, Fitchburg, and Quincy each had 30 inches or more.

“It’s been a very strange winter,” said Bevacqua.

Strange or not, this winter is officially behind us, in the academic sense at least, but what’s ahead?

Bevacqua said the rest of March and beginning of April will be a little colder than usual, with daytime highs in the upper 30s to mid 40s, and overnight lows in the low to mid 20s.

That’s also a departure from last year.

Temperatures in town were a balmy 79 degrees when spring started on March 20, 2012, and only dropped below freezing on two nights the rest of the month.

Snow days

Though Tuesday’s snowfall resulted in a day off for teachers and schoolchildren across the county, it put others to work.

“We’ve gone out to plow about five times as much as last year,” said David Kalinowski, of Greenfield’s Kalinowski Landscaping. “This winter has been very lucrative for us.”

All nine Kalinowski plow trucks were out cleaning up during and after Tuesday’s storm, he said, along with half a dozen workers armed with snow shovels. He said they’re glad to be busy, since they’re on-call during the winter, working at the weather’s whim.

Even though he’s in the snow business, Kalinowski was caught a bit off-guard by the storm.

“We had intended to come spread mulch here tomorrow,” he said, after shoveling in front of the Greenfield Cooperative Bank headquarters on Federal Street Tuesday. “This storm puts us another eight to 10 days out to start our spring work.”

If the storm models Bevacqua’s watching hold true, it could be a bit longer than that.

David Rainville can be reached at:
drainville@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 279

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