As we close in on a record snowy winter in Boston, it’s time to take stock.

What does it mean to break a record? Does it justify the winter and the hardship, or is it just another number to fall? Why do we even care? And of course the bigger question: what if we fall short by an inch – or gasp, a half inch – and never unseat the mighty winter of 1995-96?

To me, records only really matter in big snowstorms and high and low temperatures for the very reason I stated above. If we break the record for snowiest winter in Boston does it mean the winter was long and hard? Brutal and snowy? Not quite. We had a few blockbusters in February to make up for a winter that wasn’t in December and early January. I’ll let the year of 2014-15 stand for itself in second place, it was memorable enough, thank you very much. I’d hazard to guess that in the years after the Olympics, few athletes look back in regret about getting the silver medal – especially if they know they gave their all.

So as a matter of discussion, will we make it? We’ll be close. A good 2-3 inches tonight, then a coating possible on Thursday. We only need 3 1/2 to tie.

First the burst overnight. Coming on strong out there between 8 and 11. Snowfall rates will peak at about an inch per hour – for about an hour or two – before we see sleet and raindrops come into play around midnight. There won’t be much left in the morning other than “mild” temperatures in the mid 30s and lots of clouds. With those clouds, we’ll stay with my forecasted highs of mid 40s. Without clouds, we could’ve hit the 50s…live to fight another day.

Cold returns Thursday along with some light snow. Last night, I feared we would see a solid 3-6 inches throughout the day. However, now I see 2-4 in Southeast Mass. and a coating to 1″ along and north of the Pike. Big difference in the track of this system and the massive amount of dry air funneling in from the north.

Finally, the end game. Why am I thinking this may be our last chance for snow Thursday? Yep. A pattern change. We’ll see the storms fade after Thursday and there are signs the arctic air will retreat back to the Pole. This is huge for the implications in the Lower 48 with a general warmup and thaw. We’re in on it too as the storms turn warmer and less frequent. We’ll see if it has legs to run through the end of March and into April.

For the sake (and sanity) of many, here’s hoping.


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