Happy first day of Spring everybody! You might be thinking Im off my rocker; Looking at the calendar, Spring doesnt start for another few weeks. Is there some sort of conspiracy between meteorologists and astronomers? Haha no. Meteorologists demarcate their seasons by average temperature, where astronomers demarcate theirs by astronomical happenings (the vernal equinox, for example, is the astronomical start of spring, typically around March 21).
March 1st is considered the first day of meteorological spring. Our seasons are divided into three month chunk: March May are considered the spring months, June August are the summer months, September October are considered autumn, and December February are the winter months.
March is truly a month of transitions. During the winter months, the jet stream dips south, allowing colder air from Canada to also sag southward. The bulk of our precipitation comes from storms that form along the boundary of cold air and warm air this battleground typically sets up just to our south, which is partly why we get so many noreasters and clippers in the winter. During the warmer months, the jet stream retreats over Canada, and our precipitation comes from frontal passages that brings us more showery type precipitation. March is a transition month because the jet stream is still in the midst of its northerly migration, and its during this time that we can get some of our wildest weather swings. Consider the weather this week: yesterday and today we dealt with a system that brought a combination of rain, sleet and accumulating snow to the region. Temperatures on Saturday will surge into the 50s before powerful cold front moves through the region, bringing with it the chance of some thunderstorms! How wild is that? And lets not forget that there have been some pretty big snowstorms during March as well (March 1993 anyone?) So sit, back, enjoy the ride, and lets see what this March has to offer us. It certainly wont be boring.