Much of the snow in the lower elevations has melted across the Inland Northwest. Many are wondering if winter is coming to an end since the famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, did not see his shadow on Feb. 2. According to legend, if the groundhog does not see his shadow, then an early spring is right around the corner.
However, residents in the Northeast are digging out from one of the biggest snowstorms in recorded history. This historic blizzard in New England caused several deaths and left at least 650,000 homes and businesses without electricity.
More than 38 inches of snow buried Milford, Conn., and Portland, Maine, received an all-time record 31.9 inches of snow, breaking its previous mark of 28.6 inches in 1979.
Boston gauged 24.9 inches of snow. Concord, N.H.., measured exactly 2 feet of snow from the blizzard.
Hurricane-force winds of 82 mph caused beach erosion along some of the same areas of the north Atlantic coastline blasted by Hurricane Sandy last fall. A rare eye was spotted in the middle of the blizzard when it passed just east of Westport, Conn., early Saturday morning on its way out to sea.
It appears that more snow is expected across the Northeast this weekend, but amounts should be much lighter this time around.
Across our region, high pressure has kept our weather drier than normal and chilly. We’ve had some breaks of sun this week as temperatures for the month of February have been very close to normal. As of early Tuesday, only 0.04 inches of moisture has fallen at Spokane International Airport, which is nearly a half-inch below average. Only 0.3 inches of snow has fallen in February, but for the 2012-’13 season, 38.5 inches has been measured. The normal for the season is about 46 inches.
There’s the possibility of some rain or snow showers next week. I do see a better chance of snow toward the end of February and into early March. We’ve likely seen the heavier snows of this winter, but don’t be too surprised if we pick up another 6 to 10 inches of snow between now and early April.
It looks like a new, colder La Niña sea-surface temperature event is forming in the south-central Pacific Ocean. If the ocean waters continue to cool, then the chances of a wet spring go up. Stay tuned.