A lot of people are beginning to compare this winter with the Winter of '94. There are several similarities in both temperature and snow fall amounts. My friend, Carole Mebus, keeps a weather journal and occasionally emails excerpts from past years to help us keep things in perspective when the news media are selling doom and gloom.
Anyway, recalling history is a good thing. I remember that winter because we were stuck in a weather pattern similar to this January's. A large quantity of snow would be dumped mid-week, and it would take almost two days to clean up. Then it would warm up on the weekend and we would get another round of rain/freezing rain.
You may not recall the weather pattern, but you probably recall the news reports of roofs caving in all over the northeast due the snow load . Most of the cave-ins were on the flat roofs of warehouses, firehouses and stores. Because of that winter, I stay conscious of the snow loads on the buildings at Mariton.
For instance, the snow this past Wednesday yielded 1.35 inches of water when melted down. A square foot from that snow event weighs 7 pounds. So, a roof that is 20 feet by 20 feet has a snow load of about 1.5 tons. Not that bad. Some of the weight will sublimate (essentially evaporate) into the air, lessening the load. But if you are like me, you have more that one snow event piled up there on the roof. So, you stay aware of that situation, and take precautions when necessary.
And who really knows? We could break this pattern and have a balmy February and March.