By Natalie Bazinet
CARIBOU — March’s bark appears to be worse than its bite as much of the snowfall from the March 7 storm has been dramatically diminished by this week’s warmer temperatures that reached as high as 46 degrees — a temperature known as “short sleeves weather” to some in The County.
Presque Isle hit that 46 degree mark on March 12 during the pinnacle high-degree day in Aroostook County; the mercury in Houlton reached 45 degrees that same day, with Caribou just a few integers behind at 43 degrees.
Meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Caribou Tony Mignone attributed the temperature increase to a high pressure system that brought warmer air to the region; temperatures cooled down a bit on Tuesday.
“[Monday night] was a clear night so the atmosphere radiated and we have some cool temperatures [on Tuesday],” Mignone explained, mentioning that the angle at which the sun’s rays hit the Earth are changing as March progresses, which helps to warm things up.
“The sun is strong enough so that the temperature recovers pretty quick during the day,” he said.
Houlton Pioneer Times Photo/Joseph Cyr
SPRING THAW — Bob Monfils of the Houlton Public Works Department tries to clear a sewer drain on Kelleran Street recently to alleviate a massive puddle that formed from melting snow. With winter finally giving way to spring, the public works department has been busy clearing storm drains around Houlton.
The strength of the sun was enough to melt away most of the March 7 snowfall, during which Caribou saw 16.5 inches of snow. Presque Isle received 7 inches of snow during the same weather event and Houlton — which has received the brunt of this winter’s snow along with its southern Aroostook neighbors — received only 5 inches.
As the impending warm weather decreases the snowpack, the thoughts of many have shifted from snow to the possibility of flooding; March 14-18 is the National Weather Services’ Flood Safety Awareness Week, and flood warnings have already been issued downstate.
But while downstate is looking a little soggy, Aroostook looks to be safe from the rising waters for now. “But we are getting into that season as things start to melt,” Mignone advised.
In conjunction with Flood Safety Awareness Weed, additional information regarding flood safety can be obtained by visiting http://www.floodsafety.noaa.gov.
By Natalie Bazinet