While there are nearly three months of official winter remaining, Rockland is seeing a well below-average season for snowfall.

Thus far, the city has only seen a few dustings of snow. Temperatures on New Year’s Eve reached 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The 10-day forecast also shows no snow other than snow showers toward the end of that period.

The latest measurable snowfall for Portland was Jan. 16 in 2020 while in Belfast it was Jan. 4, 1954, according to the National Weather Service office in Gray. The National Weather Service does not maintain records for Rockland.

Back in December, 1988, in a speech before the Golden K Kiwanis in Rockland, James Volkommer, the area manager for the National Weather Service, referred to Rockland as the “banana belt” of Maine. He said Rockland benefits from onshore winds which keeps the area warmer in the winter but cooler in the summer.

The lack of snow thus far has helped save the city money in snow removal. Rockland Finance Director John Thibodeau said while the city purchases its salt and sand in advance of winter, the city has had savings in personnel overtime costs.

The average annual snowfall in Portland is 69 inches while in Tenants Harbor the average annual snowfall is 53 inches. By the end of December, Portland has on average seen 17 inches of snow.

In that 1988 speech, the chief meteorologist for the NWS said that the jury was still out on global warming from the greenhouse effect. In the ensuing 30 plus years, the scientific community has reached a consensus that the greenhouse effect is warming the planet with disastrous impacts.