The Winter of 2011

One gets the rather strong feeling that the Winter of 2011 is destined to be a memorable one.

With another week of January remaining, with the temperature slipping below zero and with more snow forecast for later in the week, February is looking to be an extension of everything that has come before.

Not since the Winter of 1978 have we had so much snow in so short a time with so much winter remaining in front of us.

Storms this year have been referred to as blizzards but for the older New England weather professionals among us, there is the commonly held belief that no storm this year so far has compared in any reasonable way with the Great Blizzard of 1978.

That’s the bad news.

There really is no good news regarding the state of the weather.

It was so cold Monday that the air we breathed and exhaled almost turned to ice.

Although an exaggeration, Monday’s below zero cold caused everything warm to steam and everything outside to freeze.

If you heat with oil, you are burning your salary at a very rapid rate and still not feeling that warm.

On the radio and television, announcers speak of gasoline going to $3.13 a gallon.

How is it, we wonder, they say not a word about home heating oil already reaching that plateau and creating a situation that could become extremely nasty and costly should the extraordinary cold wave intensify or simply continue.

Mind you, we are not complaining about the New England weather during this, the dead of winter.

We are marveling at it, left breathless by it, chilled to the bone when we are outside too long.

It is when the weather gets like this that we are reminded of the Pilgrims attempting to make it through their first New England winter in 1620.

Is it any wonder more than half their number died?

The hostile environment is tough but it is also beautiful.

New England in all its meteorological nuances, is an incredible place.

Watching as we did everyone going to work early Monday morning, we were uplifted with the pride that comes from being hardy enough to deal with the New England winter without it changing our lives very much.

Our suggestion for the day is simple.

Have a cup of hot chocolate and stay warm.

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