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Record-breaking warm temperatures in Connecticut leave many snow budgets virtually untouched

February 28, 2023 - Storrs Mansfield, Ct. - A Town of Mansfield plow clears a neighborhood road Monday morning after 4-8 inches of snow fell across Connecticut Monday night into Tuesday morning in the first major snowfall of the season. (Mark Mirko/Connecticut Public)
Mark Mirko
Connecticut Public
A town of Mansfield plow clears a neighborhood road after 4 to 8 inches of snow fell across Connecticut in late February during the first major snowfall of the season.

With the official start of spring on Monday, a review of Connecticut’s winter shows that many towns and cities had virtually untouched snow budgets, according to the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.

While the region has seen plenty of precipitation, it has been too warm for snow to form, said Glenn Field, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Norton, Massachusetts.

“It has been, on average, a warmer than normal winter,” Field said. “So we’ve been above normal for the precipitation department, but not cold enough to make it all snow. And part of that is due to a lack of a blocking system out in Greenland to lock in the cold air.”

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont all had their warmest January on record.

The big question: What will Connecticut municipalities do with the untouched money from this year’s snow budget?

Kevin Maloney, the director of communications and media relations with Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, said that many towns will leave the funds as is, transfer them to another use or move the unused funds into a fund balance at the end of the fiscal year.

Maloney saida percentage of the unused funds may go toward completing small capital projects that otherwise may not have been funded this year. He thinks the remaining balance will probably contribute to a much larger than usual positive fund balance at the end of the year. Some other towns across Connecticut told Maloney they will put a portion of the funds toward their pavement management program.

However, things might change. Field warns there is a chance of a major snowstorm at the end of March that could bring the region close to an average “winter.”

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