Winter, it's time to leave

It has been a strange one, this winter. Seemingly more difficult than most. Or perhaps it is just human nature to think so, as the cold weather lingers, an unwelcome guest who won’t take the hint and head home.

This winter got off to a harsh start. Late December into the first half of January featured two weeks during which the temperatures refused to move above freezing, and spent much of the time well below it.

Pipes froze, batteries died and even taking Fido out for his morning constitutional became a frigid adventure (though it left dog owners happy they, unlike their pets, had heated bathrooms).

Things got more than inconvenient when it became difficult to get home heating fuel. Because temperatures stayed in the teens and single digits so long, and the cold spell was so widespread — the Northeast, Midwest and even deep into the Southeast — supply lines were not keeping up with fuel use.

The result was that some fuel oil companies were having difficulty meeting their automatic fill-up obligations. Customers calling for deliveries were told they had to wait a week, or more.

Eversource Energy, which serves almost 230,000 customers in Connecticut, set a company record for natural gas delivery on New Year's Eve, sending 414,133 MMBtu (millions of British thermal units) of natural gas to residents dealing with the bitter cold.

A subsequent, if brief thaw, created its own problems. Ice, broken up in a rainstorm, formed massive ice jams on the Connecticut River, which refroze in other-worldly chunks, causing minor flooding in Haddam and other locations. Two Coast Guard ice cutters spent a couple of weeks breaking it all up.

Mid-winter proved temperate. The third week of February downright warm. Inland saw temperatures in the 60s and even 70s, though towns along the still-frigid waters of Long Island Sound had to settle for temperatures 20 degrees or so lower. When a 77-degree high at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks became the warmest winter temperature ever recorded in the state, it appeared spring had arrived early.

Now this, two nor’easters in a few days to start March, the first featuring downpours and fierce winds, the second a heavy wet snow, both causing widespread power outages.

Enough already, we’re sick of it. Winter, you’ve definitely worn out your welcome.

 

The Day editorial board meets regularly with political, business and community leaders and convenes weekly to formulate editorial viewpoints. It is composed of President and Publisher Pat Richardson, Editorial Page Editor Paul Choiniere, retired Day editor Lisa McGinley, Managing Editor Tim Cotter and Staff Writer Julia Bergman. However, only the publisher and editorial page editor are responsible for developing the editorial opinions. The board operates independently from the Day newsroom.

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