The Norman Transcript

Nation/World

March 9, 2013

Enduring storm surprises New England with big snow

(Continued)

WHITMAN, Mass. —

Tim Wicker, a self-employed 32-year-old resident of Norwich, Conn., said the latest storm wasn’t too bad, but he was also longing for spring.

“The other day I was out in a T-shirt,” Wicker said. “Now we’re dealing with this again. It’s going to be 54 on Sunday. It’s just New England.”

Charley Foley, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Taunton, said the higher snowfalls were caused by winds swirling around the storm that subtly changed course from the northeast to a more northerly direction. That allowed the storm to tap colder air from Canada, pick up moisture from the warmer ocean and dump snow on New England.

“We did get somewhat surprised by higher snow amounts,” Foley said.

The storm had been giving forecasters fits for days. After pummeling the Midwest earlier in the week, it dumped nearly two feet of snow in some part of the mid-Atlantic but largely spared the nation’s capital, despite warnings that as much as 10 inches could fall on Washington.

Some school districts, including Boston, were criticized for holding classes Friday despite icy sidewalks and poorly plowed roads.

Boston public schools spokesman Lee McGuire said schools were kept open because the weather forecast was so fluid. Thursday night’s forecast called for just a few inches of snow.

“We made the best decision we could with the information we had at the time,” McGuire said.

The district said students whose parents kept them home Friday would be considered “constructively present” and their absences would be excused.

Boston resident Vera Miller was angry about the decision. She kept her grandchildren home after taking a look outside Friday morning.

“I said, ‘Oh no, you kids are staying home today,”’ Miller said. “I just felt that school should have been canceled.”

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