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Required Reading

Numbers


« The Steeple (Lantern) Has Landed | Main | Boston's Motto and Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Boston" »

Comments

Rhea

This is fun! I am going to guess 80 inches even.

Kat

I'm going with 63.7 inches.

eeka

42

Jesse

I'll go with 79.7

JoeyDonuts

I'm going with 56.2 inches.

margalit

I'm going with 54.4 inches. And hoping it comes true.

Molly

I'll say 65 inches.

jake

58 inches!

Jonathan

41.8 inches, the “Approximate Seasonal” snowfall.

d

51.5

I never win anything, though, so I'm not optimistic....

K

76.3

Jeff

68 inches, all at the same time!

Toby

43 inches.

Chris Lenney

A Great Prize!!! But it brought to mind this Globe article....

Copyright 1994 Globe Newspaper Company
The Boston Globe

March 11, 1994, Friday, City Edition

SECTION: METRO/REGION; Pg. 21

LENGTH: 420 words

HEADLINE: Forecasters of yore cast doubt on snow record

BYLINE: By Tom Coakley, Globe Staff

BODY:
Boston's new snowfall record, set just last week, is already being challenged - but not by any new snowfall.

Instead, some longtime and retired weather forecasters are claiming that the record is a sham. They grumble that the National Weather Service can't possibly dub this season Boston's snowiest, when the rules for measuring snowfall have changed since they were young.

Retired weather professional John Conover argues that today's official technique of measuring the snow every hour on a wooden bench at Logan, and then sweeping it away, means the snow being measured is at its fluffiest. It hasn't been beaten down by more hours of snowfall.

Until about ten years ago, Conover and others note, snowfall was measured only every six hours, or even every 12. It had ample time to settle, to compact - in a word, to slump.

"You can't compare the measurements today with those of yesterday," said Conover, a former research meteorologist from Dedham, who retired in 1977 after 35 years in the weather business.

As another longtime weather expert observed: "Two inches plus two inches doesn't equal four inches."

Weather service personnel dismiss the challenge, insisting that a record is a record, and that 89.5 inches and counting at Logan International Airport is indisputably .3 of an inch more than the former record set in 1947-48.

Conover, and other weather experts who asked not to be named because they didn't want to be seen as criticizing their fellow weatherpersons, point to readings at the Blue Hill Weather Observatory as a clue to where this winter fits in snowfall history.

At Blue Hill, observers sampling two or three times a day have recorded 90.9 inches this winter - far less that the 1947-48 record there of 136 inches. In fact, this year's total at Blue Hill is only the 12th highest on record.

Alan Dunham, the National Weather Service's data aquisition program manager for southern New England, concedes he doesn't know how snow was measured at Logan before he joined the service eight years ago. But the current way is the most accurate, and that's what counts, he says.

"I'm not going to get into whether it's a real record or not," he said. "From my point of view the measurements are accurate and compared to what we have for the old record, we have established a new record. The record is good."

Dunham said the meteorologists have noticed that winter storm patterns that often bring more snow to Blue Hill than the airport have shifted for some reason this year.

LOAD-DATE: March 12, 1994

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