NEW YORK (AP) — Forget the winter of our discontent. For Northeasterners enduring one of the coldest, snowiest seasons in decades, it's the winter of our exasperation, full-on funk and enough-is-enough rage.
From slush-covered Manhattan intersections to snow-choked Boston streets, moods are as low and tempers short as a record-breaking winter seems to have gone on all too long.
Linda Edwards' breaking point came 10 days ago, when pipes froze and cut off water to her home in Niagara Falls, New York. She's been shuttling to relatives' homes to fill gallon jugs ever since.
"The snow is bad enough, the snow and the frigid temperatures. That's enough to deal with, but this is so absolutely frustrating, it's unbelievable," Edwards said Thursday, when another winter storm dumped snow from Kentucky to the New York City area. Amid the driving snow, a plane skidded off a runway and crashed through a fence at LaGuardia Airport.
The when-will-it-end winter has even spawned a Twitter hashtag, # nomoresnow, and prompted the tourism office in Ithaca, New York, to declare "winter, you win," suggesting visitors try the Florida Keys instead.
The Northeast was "the standout globally" for being colder than normal in February, said Art DeGaetano, director of the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University. At least seven cities — including Hartford, Connecticut; Worcester, Massachusetts, and Buffalo, New York — had their coldest months on record.
Tami and Dave Crimi were accustomed to winter weather in the Buffalo suburb of Hamburg. Then a November storm dropped more than 6 feet of snow, their roof collapsed, and they've spent the ensuing 105 days in a hotel with their 10- and 12-year-old sons and two dogs, a boxer-Labrador retriever mix and a Rottweiler.
"We usually don't mind this weather. This year, it's just never-ending," says Tami Crimi. "I'm tired of being cold."
Boston is having one of its snowiest winters on record, with 105.5 inches so far, just two inches shy of the record that dates to 1872. A merciful dusting Thursday was not enough to break that record.
"There's only so much you can take," groans delivery truck driver Ed Johnson, at his wits' end from fighting for limited parking space and navigating slick sidewalks that often looked like ice canyons.
Winter has been considerably kinder to New York City, even if it doesn't seem so to those slogging and slipping around town. Last month was the city's third-coldest February on record, and the coldest since 1934.
Samantha Alvarez hit a meteorological rock bottom as she drove in a blinding snowstorm last weekend to Yonkers, just north of the city, and nearly slipped off the road.
"I thought, 'That's it — this winter has to end. And of course, now, today, it's like a blizzard out there," she said.
Robert Gray's winter-low moment came when a frozen pipe caused a sewage backup in his family's White Plains basement the day before a planned Florida vacation. The family made it, after a stinky cleanup.
"It can't possibly keep up like this, this winter," Gray said Thursday as he lunched at a suburban New York mall with his 10-year-old son, whose school was closed for its fourth snow day of the school year.
In Buffalo, Robert Brombos Sr. snapped when The Buffalo News recently wrote a feature about "snowbirds" waiting out winter in Florida.
"Pouring salt in a wound," Brombos fumed in a letter to the editor.
The winter, he said by phone, has "been depressing the longer it goes on."
Is it, technically? Studies have shown that weather does affect mood, though the effects are small for the general population, notes Kelly J. Rohan, a University of Vermont psychology professor. Even for people diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder — a depression related to certain seasons, usually fall and winter — the length of days is a stronger factor than the weather.
Still, experts say lousy, stay-in weather may mean people do less of things that make them feel better, such as socializing and exercising, and more of things that don't, like getting on loved ones' nerves.
Says New York psychiatrist Dr. Robin Kerner: "Even if somebody doesn't have seasonal affective disorder, they're probably suffering from cabin fever, at this point, and just general annoyance."
Thompson reported from Buffalo. Associated Press writers Jim Fitzgerald in White Plains, New York and Philip Marcelo in Boston contributed to this report.