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Remember the year it snowed in May?

Sure, it’s April and it’s officially spring and the sun is starting to show some strength again. But that doesn’t mean that winter weather has ended for this year. 

It could still snow. Not everyone remembers the epic late-spring snows of recent years, but there are those who recall the April Fool’s day snow of 1997. The trees had already begun to leaf up, and many of the more delicate varieties (such as the lilacs) were crushed under the weight of the wet, heavy snow. 

At this point it’s mid-April, and we’re past the possibility of another early April storm. But don’t forget the May 9 Mother’s Day storm of 1977. According to the website www.weather.com, Norfolk got 20 inches on that day. 

It’s hard for the mind to comprehend that this could have happened. But there are several Northwest Corner residents who recall that storm. 

Carol and Robert Sadlon, owners of The Moviehouse in Millerton, had just moved to their home in Lakeville.  Carol recalls that they  had, optimistically, completed their landscaping just in time for the snow to come in and take down several of their new plantings.

Historian Richard Paddock, a native of the Taconic section of Salisbury, was living in Hopewell Junction, N.Y., at the time, but he said, “I still remember the snow on the green grass and trees.”

Lou Timolat of Falls Village was helicopter traffic reporter for WCBS radio in New York City. He recalls being sent out on assignment to cover all the tragedies, large and small, caused by the storm.

“There were roof collapses, people were buried in snow. I can’t remember how deep it was, but it was a lot. One of the stadiums collapsed in Hartford.”

The math on those two storms would seem to indicate that a spring snowstorm comes every two decades, in a year ending with the number 7. But weather is unpredictable and doesn’t necessarily obey the math. 

Many Northwest Corner gardeners gauge the end of the winter-weather season by the advent of the annual Trade Secrets Rare Plant and Garden Antiques Sale. This is the 15th anniversary of the fundraiser for Women’s Support Services. There is often high wind, low temperatures and precipitation of one kind or another. The second year it was held, there was snow. If you want  to use the weekend of Trade Secrets as the date to put away sweaters and coats, this year it will be held May 16 and 17.

All in all, it might be good to wait until Memorial Day weekend to take off your snow tires and disconnect the plow from your pickup truck.