Anticipated April blizzard ‘a bust’



As large snowflakes fell late Monday afternoon, 10 members of Yale’s running club met in front of Lanman-Wright Hall for a 5-mile jog.

“The snow didn’t stop us all winter, so why should it stop us during April?” said Dan Bernstein ’05, who runs with Y-RUN on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Like Bernstein, most members of the Yale community were not slowed by the less than 2 inches of snow that fell in New Haven Monday, though many were surprised and disappointed by winter’s late revival.

“They should outlaw this,” Abigail Deutsch ’06 joked about the late snow.

Around the city, public schools were dismissed early and the New Haven Board of Aldermen canceled its meeting scheduled for Monday evening. At 9 p.m., New Haven Police reported no emergencies related to the snowfall.

Early forecasts predicted a much stronger storm to hit New Haven, with local meteorologists calling for 6 to 10 inches of snowfall Sunday. But a high pressure system over Canada deflected the most intense parts of the storm to the southern coast of Long Island, Michael Thomas of the Connecticut Weather Center said, leaving the New Haven region with minimal accumulation.

“This storm is actually — a bust,” he said.

The snow still caused inconvenience for people like Michael Oswald, a southern California resident in town for a hearing on a business dispute. Standing in front of a Church Street office building, he wore only a business suit, though he had a pair of travel bags draped over his shoulders.

“I didn’t have the slightest idea that it would snow,” Oswald said. “I was supposed to fly out of JFK [International Airport] tonight. Now it looks like it’ll be JFK tomorrow morning instead.”

Light flurries began around 12:30 p.m. Monday, and larger flakes were flying an hour later. Despite the cloudy skies, the sun warmed the pavement, keeping roads and sidewalks clear of ice until nightfall.

Streets eventually became slick in the evening. New Haven’s Department of Public Works dispatched snowplows in the afternoon and began salting roads once they turned slippery. Many city employees were called in on overtime to clear the streets for the Tuesday morning commute.

Pierre Barbour, the department’s chief fiscal officer, said the long snowy season was putting a strain on the city’s budget.

“In the past years, we’ve been able to at least get transfer funds from within the department,” Barbour said.

He said that he expected no changes in allocations for next season.

Though there have been heavy storms this year, the annual snowfall does not even approach the seasonal record. In Bridgeport, where official records are kept, 53.5 inches of snow had fallen this winter as of Monday afternoon. The record for a single season is 75.7 inches.

Monday’s storm was, however, the latest snow accumulation in a winter in recent years. New Haven last saw snow accumulation during the month April in 1997.

Many residents have grown accustomed to the city’s often unpredictable weather.

“You’ve got to take it as it comes,” New Haven resident Craig Richardson said as he waited for a bus to his job at Quinnipiac University. “What are we going to do? Spring is on the way.”

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