- Associated Press - Saturday, February 20, 2016

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (AP) - Near the Canadian border, residents are used to bone-shivering cold and knee-deep snow this time of year. Those are considered good things because the economy is heavily dependent on winter outdoor activities like snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

But this winter has been so mild that organizers of Saturday’s Winter Family Fun Day at Aroostook State Park had to cancel the event because of a lack of snow.

Northern Maine is usually covered by about a foot-and-a-half of snow, but there were bare spots this week after the temperature climbed to the upper 40s.

“So far it’s been the warmest winter on record in Caribou - by a couple of degrees. It’s been an unusually warm winter,” said Corey Bogel, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service office in Caribou, where official weather records are kept.

Caribou normally should have recorded 75 inches of snow by this time of the year, Bogel said. Instead, there’s been only 53 inches.

It’s a common refrain this winter in northern New England.

Mild weather caused thin ice that led to the cancellation of many fishing derbies. And the National Toboggan Championships in Camden, Maine, had to be shortened and moved because of unsafe conditions on Hosmer Pond, where the toboggans come to a stop after roaring down a chute.

In Vermont, an organization aimed at getting women and girls involved in outdoors activities canceled a snowshoeing and cross-country skiing event Sunday at Prospect Mountain.

In northern New Hampshire, poor snow conditions led to the cancellation of an annual fundraising event in the North Country that draws thousands of people to test ride snow machines.

The event at Coleman State Park in Stewartstown, which had been scheduled for March 4-5, needs at least 2 feet of snow for safe riding. Organizers said they had only 4 to 5 inches.

In Greenville, Maine, the Wilderness Sled Dog Race was postponed from Feb. 6 until Feb. 27 because rain and warm temperatures left trails bare.

Amy Dugan said organizers are counting on a storm projected for midweek to restore some of the lost snow. “It has not been a good winter, that’s for sure,” she said, pointing to icy trails and local lodging vacancies. “It’s quite the bummer.”

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