The calendar keeps marching toward spring and hints of a thaw have been felt in the air, but the gap of days in between still seems poised to deliver more of a mixed bag of winter weather until the time of budding warmth takes permanent hold.
A storm bringing heavy rain and buffeting winds to a good swathe of the Atlantic coastline on February 25, 2011 brought a wet snow to the Maine coast before it too changed over for a period of time to sleet and rain – and ultimately back to snow again.
What initially started out as just a winter weather advisory quickly changed to a winter storm warning, with predictions of 6 to 10 inches of snow – again!
Learning of the storm’s “upgrade” in wintry tricks that included a gale warning on the water, all I could think of was, ‘here we go again – another day, another storm,’ for it has been that kind of winter along the Maine coast this year.
Yet something was different about this disturbance when compared to the long line of snowstorms that have preceded it this winter. Yes there was snow and wind like before, but the frigid bite was gone from the air.
In fact, though the snow was accumulating at a rapid rate, each of the flakes were visibly laden with bulging moisture, making it barely possible for the crystals to retain their frozen texture amidst temperatures hovering at, or just above freezing.
By days end, the snowstorm had succeeded in adding to the blanket of white that still cloaks much of the rocky coast of Maine, but the touch of relative warmth in the air seemed to indicate that the bitter cold grip Jack Frost has held over the region is beginning to loosen.
As all Mainers know though, winter never goes away quietly in these parts. Spring may indeed be looming on the horizon, but its alluring overtures will have to wait a little while longer before settling in.
For now, I think I’ll listen to common sense and keep the shovels handy!