By Terry Eliasen, Meteorologist, WBZ-TV Exec. Weather Producer

BOSTON (CBS) – Records are made to be broken.  In a winter full of broken records, news came Sunday night that the granddaddy of them all had been shattered.

With a somewhat freakish 2.9 inches of snow in Boston Sunday afternoon and evening, the total at Logan Airport for the 2014-2015 season reached 108.6 inches, one inch more than the seemingly unattainable benchmark set in 1995-1996 of 107.6 inches.

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(WBZ-TV graphic)

(WBZ-TV graphic)

We are now all witnesses to history. You know that story that your grandparents would always break out about how “when they were kids,” the winters were much colder, much snowier, the snowbanks were much higher.

Sorry grandpa, you’ve been trumped. The big story is now ours. We are living in THAT story.

And it could have been worse, much worse.

INITIAL DOUBTS

Keep in mind that as of January 23rd, Boston had a measly 5.5 inches of snow for the season. Many were doubting the winter forecast which had been for a very cold and snowy winter season.

But the truth was, we were living on the edge – it was just a matter of time. The stormy pattern was certainly there. We had nearly 7 inches of precipitation (mainly rain) in December, about twice the average.

In January, the cold arrived. Thirteen of the first 17 days had below average temperatures, but we somehow managed to escape a significant snowfall. The storms would either ride just to our west, allowing for enough milder air to produce rain, or miss just to our south, leaving us cold and dry.

If just a few of those storms had taken a slightly different track, we could have easily had a few more feet than we do now.

But once the “ice” was broken, once the “levy broke”, it was an all-out assault by mother nature. Five-point-one inches fell on January 24th, at the time that was about as much snow as we had for the entire winter, and that was just the start.

RECORD-SETTING FEBRUARY

Two days later on Monday January 26th and Tuesday January 27th Boston had its 6th biggest snowstorm ever recorded, 24.6 inches in what was called “The Blizzard of 2015.”

A snow pile in Copley Square on February 16, 2015. (Photo credit: Julie Loncich-WBZ-TV)

A snow pile in Copley Square on February 16, 2015. (Photo credit: Julie Loncich-WBZ-TV)

Then, less than a week later it was the “Groundhog Day Storm”, another 16.2 inches. That began what would be an absolute record shattering, historic month of February.

Among the records broken were:

  • 64.8 inches, snowiest month ever recorded (by about two feet)
  • Coldest February ever recorded (12.7 degrees below normal)
  • Second coldest month ever (#1 being January of 1934)

 

Throw in yet another top ten snowstorm in Boston (Feb 7-9, 23.8 inches) and you have perhaps the most grueling month of weather ever in our history.

(Photo credit: Susan Flaherty)

(Photo credit: Susan Flaherty)

March certainly has been no picnic, with average temperatures about 4 degrees below average and nearly 7 inches of snow so far, but our winter standards have forever been changed.

The term “hardy New Englander” has taken on a completely different meaning. A one-foot snowstorm or a 20-degree day seems like nothing, for now at least.

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This has clearly been one of those winters that you will never forget. The modern generation of New Englanders now have their “Blizzard of ‘78.”

I’m curious, 50 years from now, how the stories will be told? Will they be exaggerated? How could they?

Snow piles as high as street signs – check
Waiting hours in the cold and snow for the train – check
T service shut down and forever altered – check
Cars buried, streets in the city impassible – check
Ice dams feet thick, roof collapses – check and check

We’ve had enough weather records this winter to last a lifetime.

WHAT ABOUT THE SUMMER?

Although right about now I am guessing there aren’t too many of you that would balk at a high temperature record or two.

How does topping 104 degrees (Boston’s hottest temperatures) sound right about now?

Or perhaps making a run at the longest heat wave on record this summer?

I am curious how folks will take this summer.

If it is hotter than average (certainly a possibility), will there be less complaints? Or, will we already have forgotten how much we all were longing for the sun and warmth just a few months back, buried in piles of snow.

If nothing else, living in New England certainly makes you appreciate the seasons. It is incredible to think how much our landscape can be transformed in a relatively short period of time.

SPRING FIRST

Four weeks from today many of you will be sitting in Fenway Park for Opening Day, looking out over the lush green grass.

Five weeks from today, the dirty piles of snow on the sidewalks will be replaced by thousands of people lining the course of the Boston Marathon.

And before you know it, backyard grills will be cooking, city pools will be hopping and coastal beaches will be packed.

The record 108.6 inches of snow will be long gone but not forgotten.

And someday, perhaps not all that long from now, that record will also be broken.

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Follow Terry on Twitter @TerryWBZ