Winter is over.  I am declaring a lack of a credible threat of snow and cold the rest of this month and into April.   Yes I know there was a big snowstorm April Fool’s Day 1997 and it snowed the second week of May in 1963.   If you want to hold out for the slim chance you’ll shovel again to make my prediction wrong, have fun, I’m planting.  It’s already well in the 60s across much of southern Maine with 70 not out of the question in a few spots.


This winter will be mostly remembered for what didn’t occur, not for what did.  All fall most of my fellow meteorologists were saying this wasn’t going to be a bad winter.  However, some prognosticators said this would be even worse than last year or equally cold and snowy. I never felt that way.

The 41.5 inches of snow in Portland so far this season is only about 9 inches under average.  This is far above the 27 inches that fell back in 1979, the winter with the least amount of snow on record.

The warmth was well predicted.  The National Weather Service and the American model, the GFS, did a great job predicting the warmth in the Northeast.  Month after month since November the prediction for the upcoming 30 days was warmer than average, and this consistently proved to be true.

The 8-14-day outlook shows a huge mass of warmth here in the Northeast, another sign of winter just not being able to give us a final blast of snow and cold.

winter is over

While snowfall this year is below average, it’s not even close to record territory for least-snowy.  However, the lack of cold is what is most notable.  With the exception of the cold Valentine’s Day weekend we didn’t have any extreme cold and whenever cold did arrive it didn’t last.

The upcoming pattern keeps all the cold air either out West or locked in Canada.  With this type of jet stream it’s nearly impossible to see anything more than a day of cold – and snow is even less likely.  It’s not impossible that something remote will happen the final week of March or into April, but the trend is your friend and the trend says there are not any more snowstorms coming this year.

The chart below shows the date the final inch of snow fell at the Portland International Jetport during the past couple of decades.  Notice that the average of this occurrence is March 30th.

final inch portylands

This means there are years with snow falling well after that date and others when the snow stops before it.   This year, we are done early. Take out the snow stakes, and let the snowblower run dry. Plant your peas and put the snow shovel in the back of the garage.  Spring is here. Of course I could be wrong, it’s weather.