Goshen News, Goshen, IN

March 21, 2014

OUR VIEW: Goodbye, cruel winter

Goshen News

---- — On Thursday, about the same time NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament tipped off, the winter season officially became the spring season. If church bells had rang out or fireworks had exploded in the sky or choruses of “Hallelujah” had been sung in the streets we would have understood why. Good riddance winter 2013-14. To borrow a mildly crude saying, “Don’t let the door hit you where the Good Lord split you.”

Not since the infamous years of the late 1970s have we suffered through a more obnoxious stretch of winter weather here in Northern Indiana. It’s been like wrestling three levels above your weight class. Every time you think you’re able to get up, SMACK! You’re right back on the mat again. Mother Nature straight up wore combat boots this winter and had her soles on our throat.

THE MISERY STARTED before Thanksgiving. According to meteorologists at the National Weather Service in North Webster, Goshen has received 82.8 inches of snow this winter — 3.3 inches in November, 14.8 in December, 36.0 in January, 19.2 in February and 9.5 in March. Through the first 79 days of 2014, Goshen has accumulated 64.7 inches of snow, considerably more than twice the average for that time span.

Over in South Bend, the WSBT-TV station measured 107.8 inches of snowfall this winter, which is more than 40 inches above average and would make 2013-14 the fifth snowiest winter on record.

So it snowed a lot. So what, you say. We live in Indiana for crying out loud. People like snow. Its snows, it melts, it snows again. There’s plenty of fun to be had in the snow …. As long as it’s not too cold.

Strike two.

FROM DECEMBER through February, the average temperature in Goshen was just 20.3 degrees, which is 6.7 degrees below normal. So far March has been even more unforgiving with an average temperature of 26.9 degrees, which is 8.3 degrees below normal, according to the NWS.

There were several extended stretches this winter in which the temperature remained below zero for days at a time. Nearly two full weeks of school was postponed by some local school corporations because of the snow and cold. There were also a handful of other days when schools operated on two-hour delays because of the weather.

Street departments burned through their annual allotment of overtime before the end of January. Drive on some of our county roads and you run the risk of falling in … literally. Pot holes the size of Volkswagens lurk around almost any turn.

We concede to you cruel winter of 2013-14, or tap out, cry uncle, beg for mercy, whatever. You win. Now leave already so we can all get on with our lives and talk about something else for a change.