Boston (CBS) – April. . . we made it! Well, not always. This time of year the flowers bloom, trees wake up and sausages are grilled on Lansdowne Street. But that doesn’t mean that winter can’t come yet. In 1997 the doorbell didn’t just ring. It stormed through the front door with a plow.
It wouldn’t have been on the minds of many walking around in late March. From the 26th to the 30th the highs were in the 50s and 60s. On the 31st, some dramatic changes began. A cold front created colder air and dropped the region from the 1950s and 40s, with a cold rain falling. In the afternoon the raindrops fluttered to form snowflakes inside. And at dinner in Boston there was an inch on the floor. For dessert, nature really started to cook something special.
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The calendars turned from March to April and the snow began to pile up in earnest. Transformers bent, trees snapped, and the snowfall rate peaked at 3 inches / hour as a northeast hit the region with snow and howling winds. Between just 11 p.m. and 3 a.m., Boston added a foot of snow. And at dawn a truly unfathomable sight greeted the New Englanders. Two to three feet of snow had devastated trees and power lines, and covered the cities with a thick blanket of heavy, wet snow.
The storm total at Logan Airport was 25.4 inches, which not only makes April Fool’s Day one of the largest snowstorms the city has ever recorded, but also breaks the 24-hour snowfall record that remains to this day. In Worcester, at 34.5 inches, it was the largest blizzard ever recorded until a 2015 storm hit. And the jackpot town in Massachusetts was Milford, after all, with a measured value of 3 feet. Burrillville, RI came in at 31 “and Jaffrey, NH at 27”.
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This blizzard was more than just a final farewell to winter, it would have been unforgettable in January or February. Winds blew over 70 miles an hour on the coast and were strong enough to crack the United States’ royal mast. Constitution in Boston Harbor. Power outages exceeded 700,000 in the northeast as the pasty snow damaged numerous lines. Thousands of travelers have been stranded at the airport waiting for the runways to be cleared.
Not just snow, but the amount of fluid the storm was able to drain on the area was incredible. Hull posted a storm totaling 5.32 inches of liquid equivalent, with most cities reaching 3-4 inches. A whole month of rain and snow in one day.
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At the end of the day it was still April. And so the cleanup was quick. The highs were again in the 50s and 60s for the next few days, hitting the 70s by April 7, effectively cleaning up after itself in less than a week. Though, thanks to this memorable storm, DPW crews often keep the blades on the plows and the homeowners gas in their snow blowers well into April.