Happy Spring?

(Photo courtesy of Nick Stasiak)

The vernal equinox, also known as the first day of spring, took place on March 20. This occurrence was strange to most people as the first day of spring is usually March 21. I won’t go too much in detail in regard to this change, but it seems as though the gravity pull from other planets in our solar system is affecting the Earth’s orbit and timing of spring. The Earth’s elliptical orbit is also changing its orientation relative to the sun. This is known as precession. By 2020, the entire United States could see spring start as early as March 19.

So with spring starting early, where are the warm temperatures? March is a major transition month between winter and spring. This transition doesn’t always work in the snap of a finger. This year, the process is going to take some time. In fact, April doesn’t show any signs of temperatures going far above 65 degrees. Most of April will consist of mid 50 degree days. We all know the phrase:  “April showers bring May flowers.” This April is going to stand by that phrase as it looks to be a wet month. I’m not just talking about rain either. Fairfax could definitely see some snow here and there. With warm surface temperatures, snow shouldn’t stick though.

This winter was a relatively warm one. The metro area didn’t see many winter storms come through. When we did get a snow storm, it barely even accumulated on the pavement and sidewalks. With such warm temperatures (we had a lot of 50 degree days this month), the surface couldn’t handle the freezing precipitation. In January, the metro area had high temperatures in the low 70s. This cold air that seems to be sticking around is what meteorologists like to call, “The January Comeback.”

March 20 might be the start of spring, but that obviously doesn’t mean it’ll be all sunshine and warm temperatures. Keep your snow boots and jackets out. There are still a couple of snow systems making their way towards the East Coast. There’s a chance for snow this weekend (March 23-25). Should we get snow, it would likely be Sunday night. Accumulation would only take place on grassy surfaces. Any other surface will be too warm. Expect another system to come through on Easter weekend (March 30-April 1). That system is still up in the air though. Get it?

Looking ahead, just like the winter, spring and summer will turn out above average. We’ll have fewer storms, but the storms that do come through will definitely pack more of a punch. The warm temperatures will likely last longer this year since the cold winter temperatures are slowing down the process. There won’t be as many large dips in the jet stream either once spring takes full swing, so the weather won’t be as wacky.

There will be warm weather. Do not panic. Keep checking C2M Weather for the most accurate Mason forecasts.

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