No One Wanted to Pass the 100 Inches of Snowfall Mark

We've done it just once before, and then, as now, no one was very happy to set a record.

Associated Press

Associated Press

With Tuesday night’s two inches of snowfall, Boston has surpassed an unpleasant milestone: the city has received over 100 inches of snow this season. That’s happened only one other time since Boston started keeping records, and then, as now, nobody was very happy about it.

The record for a single season of snowfall was set in the ’95-’96 season, and it still stands (for now) at 107.6 inches. That year looked pretty similar to this one. Then, as now, there was a large blizzard that didn’t rival the storm of ’78 but nevertheless portended bad things to come. Then, as now, the actual snowfall that pushed Boston over the 100 inch line was pretty unremarkable, just a few inches. And then, as now, there was no indication that hitting 100 inches would mean the end of snowfall for the season.

In 1996, the Globe‘s report on the occasion of passing 100 inches,  after a snow of about 9.7 inches, confirmed that no one wanted to talk much about snowfall records:

[M]any would have preferred to let the old record stand.

“This storm is boring,” said Connie Matthews, shoveling her walk in the Ashmont neighborhood of Dorchester yesterday.

The midday lull in precipitation had passed. Beautiful, large flakes were gently falling once again upon a winter wonderland that Matthews said nauseated her. “Record snowfall, record shoveling, a record pain,” she said.

Reactions to the milestone today included a similar regret at having to mark the occasion at all:

Others, though, wondered whether we might just throw up our hands and hope to set the record outright. We’ve come this far.

After all, isn’t suffering through this winter a bit more worthwhile if we can note that, by total snowfall, it was the worst winter Boston’s ever seen? Won’t that make the city’s suffering seem more noble? Then again, on second thought, just make it stop.