Below zero temperatures grip Westover

  • Published
  • By W.C. Pope
  • 439th Airlift Wing

If you live in the Pioneer Valley, you’ve probably noticed it’s been cold.

According to John Dick from the Westover Weather Station, a “heat wave” of 7 degrees Fahrenheit swept across Westover on Jan. 4 -- after eight consecutive days of below zero temperatures (Dec. 27 through Jan. 3). “Jan. 4 also saw eight inches of snow that broke the old Jan. 4, 2008 record of 5.8 inches.” Dick said. Jan. 2 was one of the coldest days, when temperatures dropped to -15 degrees, which didn’t break the record still held by this date in 1968 when it reached -20 degrees. Leadership decided Jan. 4 to close Westover to all non-essential personnel. This allowed snow removal crews to concentrate on runways and C-5 parking areas before getting at parking lots and lesser-used roadways.

Dick said that the base weather station issued a blizzard warning Jan. 4, which is a unique type of warning. It can only be issued if three criteria are met; 35 mile-per-hour winds and ¼ visibility sustained for more than three hours.

People are reminded to check the base snowline whenever winter weather is forecasted to bear down on the area. That phone number at the base command post is 413-557-3444.