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March Is Going Out Like A Lion

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March Is Going Out Like A Lion

As the old saying goes, “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” But, as we close out the month, no lambs are in sight as Maine prepares for another snow storm to strike Friday night, March 31st, into Saturday, April 1st. No joke.

Though we predicted in our long-range forecast the weather would turn “unsettled by the 31st” with “stormy conditions for the 1st,” this storm system confirms that just because the calendar says spring, it doesn’t mean Mother Nature got the memo.

In fact, late spring snows in New England are nothing new. History shows us there have been countless snow storms that have hit in late March and well into April. And who can forget May of 1977?

Just as New Englanders were putting away their snow shovels and taking off their snow tires (it was May, after all), the unthinkable happened.

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On the evening of May 8, a double-barreled storm: one centered north of Lake Ontario and the other near Harrisburg, PA, slid off the coast and, 24 hours later, had consolidated into one storm system that rapidly intensified southeast of Cape Cod. A mass of unseasonably cold, Canadian air wrapped itself around the developing storm and produced a cold rain which ultimately changed over to a heavy, wet snow.

The result was a particularly unique situation.

Unique since accumulating snow fell so late into the spring with very few historical precedents. There were some astounding totals such as 12.7 inches at Worcester, Mass., and 7.5 inches at Providence, R.I., the only case of measurable snowfall in the month of May in the 20th Century.

In New York State, more than a foot of snow fell at the famous Mohonk Mountain House resort just west of New Paltz, while the highest peaks of the nearby Catskill Mountains received up to 27 inches!

Even in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, 8 inches of snow fell, while thunderstorms in southern Pennsylvania and Maryland brought wind gusts as high as 70 m.p.h., which downed power lines and caused extensive outages.

It just goes to prove that, even late in the season, if just the right ingredients come together at just the right time, you can still get one heck of a winter storm!

How is March ending in your neck of the woods? Tell us in the comments below.

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