Weather rambling— ‘Fickle March’

March is a month of inconsistent weather.

“Breezy, freezy, fickle March has given me a taste of her particular qualities during the past two weeks,” The Glen’s Falls Republican editorialized on March 19, 1867. “But a day or two ago she appeared to us radiant with smiles and brightness, the sun shining in all its glory, casting beams of warmth on on animal and vegetable life. A few hours elapse and all is changed.”

The Post-Star on March 17, 1921 reported weather of the radiant variety.

“From all points of the village Saturday came the information that robins had been seen during the day.”

The Glen’s Falls Republican on March 1, 1870 reported weather of the fickle variety.

“The cold weather of last week interrupted the planting of early potatoes.”

“After a short thaw, winter seems to be returning with new rigor. Weather prophets predict good sleighing in May,” the Schroon Lake correspondent reported March 16, 1875 in The Glen’s Falls Republican.

“Nobody felt like making faces at the thaw of last week,” The Glen’s Falls Republican reported on March 2, 1875. “It has been so long expected and so long coming that every individual felt bound to make it welcome.”

The thaw did not last long.

“Finally on Thursday night the wind chopped around to the north, a portion of the icy breath of the polar regions was felt again — and the first thaw of the winter of 1874–5 was ended.”

Weather watchers of decades past recorded the date in March that the ice went out on Lake George or Lake Champlain.

“Lake George is entirely free from ice,” The Post-Star reported on March 23, 1921. “People who have been watching the action of the ice say that it entirely disappeared on Monday (March 21.)”

Lake Champlain was frozen over for about 47 days in 1871, about 13 days less than average.

“The ice broke up in Lake Champlain on the 12th under the combined influence of rain and snow melt,” The Glen’s Falls Republican reported on March 21, 1871.

In 1870 ice was still being harvested on the Hudson River on March 22.

“There is likely to be a plentiful supply of ice for cherry cobblers and all other conveniences and necessities during the coming summer,” The Glen’s Falls Republican reported. “The prospect of a short supply of the indispensable luxury has set people at work, and immense quantities are being cut and stored.”

“The ice in the Hudson River at Albany was twenty-eight inches last week, by actual measurement,” The Glen’s Falls Republican reported on March 2, 1875.

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Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY