You Call This Winter?

The scene was surreal around Hoboken this past Saturday.

Joggers zoomed by wearing only shorts and t-shirts like extras in an OC scene. Frisbees were flung with no wind as a hindrance in Sinatra Park. Soccer balls abound made it look more like the World Cup in June than the race for the Stanley Cup in January. Sunglasses, not scarves, were the add-on fashion of the day.

An anomaly in an otherwise, usually-brutal season?

Well, if the definition of anomaly is “a singular deviation from the common rule”, then the choice of words here isn’t appropriate.

To be safe, let’s go with “distinctive pattern.”

After three consecutive arctic weather seasons that made what the Ingalls went through in Walnut Grove look like a week in Cancun, this winter serves more as an example of what life from December-March is like in Dallas or Memphis. Yes, it still gets cold, but not that Jack-Dawson-shivering-to-the-big-boned-chick-floating-on-the-conveniently-placed-large-piece-of-wood-cold like that scene at the end of Titanic.

For a moment, think back to last winter in the northeast.

Then again, I’ll do it for you:

January 25, 2005 (AP): Up to 31 inches of snow fell north of Boston, parts of New Hampshire got two feet, New York’s Catskills collected at least 20 inches, and 18 inches fell on parts of Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island and the eastern tip of New York’s Long Island.

Overall, over 41 inches of snow fell last year in Hoboken from December 21-March 21. If we’re going to catch that total this winter, we’ll need exactly, um, 41 inches to tie the record, as exactly an impotent amount of zero inches of snow has fallen since the winter solstice.

Is this column a jinx?

For the short term, no, as temperatures for this coming Saturday will hit a balmy 52 degrees…

Perhaps February will be different, and March is always a bitch. But for now, we’re over 35% percent through the season without a shiver, and as the great Timbuk 3 once said back in 1989:

“The future’s so bright, I’ve got to wear shades.”