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What Ever Happened to Fall?

Massachusetts, USA
Attleboro Department of Public Works crews have been working nights clearing snow in the downtown area after a series of late fall snowstorms. (Staff photo by TOM MAGUIRE)

Was there really a fall this year? It just seemed like we cruised with no transition from summer to winter. It was an autumn of polar opposites, with most of the fall seeing above average and often downright summer-like temperatures, and the tail end experiencing temps well below normal and weather usually found in the heart of winter. The weather changed so abruptly with the two recent snowstorms and Arctic chill, many homeowners didn't finish raking leaves before the wintry conditions descended. An 11-inch snowstorm Dec. 13 came earlier and heavier than expected, gridlocking students and employees heading home from school and work. A 5.5 inch snowstorm three days later that was accompanied by sleet, freezing rain and rain made for icy conditions that persist, leading to plenty of slip and falls and vehicle crashes. With almost 17.5 inches of snow falling before winter arrived, from the two major storms and two minor ones this month, the Attleboro area has already surpassed last winter's total of 14.5 inches. The 11-inch storm on Dec. 13 fell into a two-way tie for the third biggest one-day snowfall for December. Tuesday's low temperature bottomed out at a frigid 8 degrees and Wednesday's low was in the teens. The picture was a complete turnaround from most of autumn, with many days registering temperatures 20 degrees higher than normal for the time of year.

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