Pieces of the Past: There Once Was

November 29, 2023

“I walked to school in chest-deep snow!” My Dad would say it every time I’d complain about how cold it was on my 2 block walk to Lacy School from Park Street back in the late 50s. Truth is, it really WAS colder back then. We got more snow back then too!

When I was a 4-foot-tall second grader I walked in nearly waist-deep snow (drifts) more than once! We ice skated over the long Thanksgiving weekend. To freeze water in an area the size of the Lacy ice rink took a week of sub-zero weather. So when people “poo-hoo” global warming I tell them to check the facts!

My Dad was so pleased with himself when he put up a pricey Mercury thermometer. It would be really accurate. Until that morning he discovered the bottom of its tube shattered and the mercury lying in a strange pile beneath it! Mercury freezes at 40 below zero Fahrenheit. Yes, we had a minus 40-degree day that day.

On Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023, we got our first measurable snowfall of the year in Columbus. I’ve unofficially kept track of snowfall for the last 20 years. One winter I measured 243 inches of the white stuff at my house. We haven’t had anywhere near that ever since!

For this Piece of the Past, I put together about 10 or 12 years of my snow charts. Last winter was one of the easiest winters we’ve had since I started my snow-measuring project. Columbus is the last Township before entering Erie County. As far as snow totals go, if Warren gets 6 inches, we get a foot! If you wondered, here is a copy of my snow charts going back more than a decade.

They say that the Farmers’ Almanac is predicting an “average” winter. Average for us at this end of the county is pretty serious!


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