Although the weather was recently sunny and temperate, recent frosty mornings might have induced flashbacks to last winter, or for those who remember, flashbacks to 60 years ago when the Pittsburgh area recorded its biggest snowstorm, accumulating 27.4 inches over Thanksgiving weekend 1950.

Besides leaving a permanent scar on the memory, days of shoveling after the February snow have cranked the engine on snowblower sales.

Machines are lined up at outdoor and hardware stores, luring buyers by bringing back memories of those aching backs.

Robert Vasko, Toro's regional manager, says some of his dealers are in their third shipment of sales. That is really busy for this time of year, he says.

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, an industry trade monitor, says sales of single-stage blowers are up 22 percent from September 2009. The bigger, double-stage machines, on which snow is churned into the throwing blades, are up 5 percent.