Skyler Morse is now well within his rights to say things like “You call this cold? This is like a Fourth of July picnic compared to the winters we used to have.”

Older Mainers flash such phrases as a badge of honor, proof that they are better people somehow for having lived through worse weather than the rest of us. But until this winter, most 11-year-olds had no such badge to flash.

“I think I will remember this winter when I’m old, and talk about it,” said Skyler, 11, sitting in the cafeteria at Memorial Middle School in South Portland. “In a bad way.”

Maybe that’s good.

Sure, the winter of 2014-15 – which ends at 6:45 p.m. Friday – will likely be defined as a “bad” winter by some when we finally thaw out. That could take awhile, with a high of 35 degrees predicted for Portland on Friday. But it was clearly a good winter for amassing dramatic weather statistics.

Portland’s average temperature for the entire month of February was 13.8 degrees, and there were 13 days during the month when the mercury dipped below zero. The city didn’t have more than two consecutive days without snow between Jan. 24 and Feb. 25. Portland got 67.3 inches of snow from Jan. 24 to March 1, which is more than the average of 61.9 inches of snow the region usually gets for an entire winter season.


But instead of thinking of this winter as no good, we should look at it as “snow good.” Think of all the positives this winter is leaving us in its frigid wake, including: Curmudgeons can no longer lord the bad weather of their youth over the rest of us; younger folks can now act like curmudgeons, where weather is concerned; Maine got tons of free publicity thanks to all the blizzard reports on The Weather Channel; weather forecasters enjoyed unprecedented popularity because just about every big storm they hyped actually materialized; and mud season has never looked so good to so many.

Maybe most important, there was an underlying feeling of satisfaction among Mainers. Many believed that Maine was finally having the kind of winter it was supposed to have. Maine: The Way Winter Should Be.

“It was a great winter because it was cold and snowy, like winter ought to be, and it made us look forward to spring, which we ought to do,” said Cliff Gallant, 69, a former advertising salesman and teacher who lives on Munjoy Hill in Portland. “Embrace it.”

One unexpected side effect to the dramatically bad weather in Maine this winter was a boost for Maine’s name recognition. People in California or Utah or wherever heard the state’s name repeated over and over in countless storm reports on TV and radio. Does it matter that the news was all about bad weather? No, what matters is that people had Maine on their brains.

“It was a great winter because it put Maine on the map, even though it was the weather map,” said Vicki Wenzel Doudera of Camden, a mystery writer, Realtor and author of the book “Moving to Maine.” “So much of the rest of the country doesn’t know where we are, so those mentions are important. Instead of just the generic mentions of New England, the weather reports were talking about ‘blizzard conditions all the way into Maine.’ ”


Another feel-good aspect to this winter in Portland was that it wasn’t as bad as winter in Boston. While 89 inches of snow had been measured in Maine this winter by Feb. 28, Boston’s Logan Airport had seen more than 104 inches for roughly the same period. This winter has been Boston’s snowiest on record.

Boston’s mayor even had to make a public announcement to try to stop residents from jumping out of buildings onto towering snowbanks, while videotaping themselves for YouTube. Bostonians like to brag about their city, their colleges and their so-called “Hub of the Universe” status. So it was nice to watch Boston’s citizens act like they’ve never seen a real winter before.

Mainers want a real winter. We thrive on it.

Mainers don’t complain when a big storm hits. They complain when a big storm doesn’t hit. If the TV meteorologists call for a big storm and it doesn’t come, you can hear a loud groan from Kittery to Fort Kent.

But this year things were different. Just about every time a big storm was predicted, it came. Mainers like predictability. And this year bad weather seemed a sure bet.

“Yeah, for whatever reason I think the weather’s been a little more predictable this year, and the forecasts have been pretty solid,” said Todd Gutner, morning meteorologist at WCSH-TV in Portland. “So we avoided a lot of the criticism we usually get. Usually the worst (criticism) is for the bad misses. I know, personally, if I go through the hassle and inconvenience of getting ready for a storm and running errands, and it doesn’t happen, it’s kind of annoying.”

Maybe that’s the way to sum up this winter in Maine: The least annoying ever.