Spring Break is mere days away, but from the looks of things outside, it might as well be January.

Another snowstorm has moved through the area, leaving Fairfield looking more like a sledders’ paradise than a place for bikinis and sun. The storm, which hit earlier today, provided another few inches of snow, canceling all day and evening classes Thursday.

While it seems like this is just the latest in what has been a nasty winter, this winter may not end up in too many record books.

Geoff Fox, a forecaster for WTNH, said that the way the storms have hit have made things seem like one of the worst winters in history. “We’ve not set that many records this year. What’s made it bad is not that we’ve had the most severe or the coldest or anything like that. It’s that it’s been consistently awful. There’s never really a rest, never really a break. Normally, here in Connecticut, you get a chance for it to thaw for awhile. It’s showing no desire to thaw at all.”

As a result, as soon as the grass is showing, however green or brown it may be, another storm comes through and turns the entire campus white again.

On a posting to the WTNH site, Dr. Mel Goldstein, a meteorologist at the station, noted that this might not even be the end of it. He said in his posting that the pattern could continue for another two to three weeks, causing similar storms to move through and cause even more problems in the area.

He added, “The strong sun will warm things up when it is available, but from time to time, these late season snowstorms will come along. That shovel certainly isn’t rusting this year.”

Fox noted that the storms we have been seeing have consistently come from the south, creating conditions ripe for snow. “Normally we get some coastal storms and we also get Alberta Clippers. There have been hardly any Alberta Clippers. These coastal storms have worked against really high pressure. That has wrung snow out of these relatively mild storms. They pack significantly more moisture than they would normally would.” The end result: a blanket of white.

Fairfield’s cancellation is at least the third such cancellation this year. When school is cancelled, it is based off of information from sources such as AccuWeather, as well as the actions taken by other schools in regards to the weather and the school’s decision on weather the roads, and the campus, will be safe for travel.

Many forecasts were only calling for 1-3 inches as late as Wednesday night, such as weather.com, the online version of The Weather Channel. However Fox, as he has done many times this year, went against the pack. He originally called for up to a foot of snow, although he did change his forecast a bit as the storm approached.

“I was concerned calling for as much as a foot may have been going for too much,” Fox said. He later lowered it to the range of between five and 10 inches, which is what most areas have seen.

His accuracy comes through tools he’s used over the years, which have also become better with the continuing evolution of computers. “I use the same tools and techniques that have served me well. The past few years I started using a sophisticated computer algorithm to look at more … than do it by hand. With a computer, I can look all sorts of places. To me, that has been incredibly important in being able to know not only how much we’re going to get, but how much rain and snow.”

Fox said that he relies on the best tools at his disposal, and if there were better ways, he’d use them. “I’d go to Miss Cleo if she could forecast better. My job is not to be a scientist. But my job is to forecast the weather, and the best way happens to be through science.”

Fairfield maintains a page for weather-related announcements. Click here for any news on delays or cancellations from the weather.

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