The Times West Virginian

March 20, 2013

Despite the cold, it’s really spring

‘Wetter and warmer’ long-range forecast for next three months

By Debra Minor Wilson
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — Today is the first day of spring.

Really.

No matter what it’s doing outside.

This is the day many people have been looking forward to since fall.

But don’t break out the shorts and shades just quite yet.

AccuWeather is predicting variable clouds with snow flurries for today, but somehow, words like “snow” and “flurries” just don’t spring to mind when thinking about spring, which arrives at 7:02 a.m. (EDT) today.

“We’re going to have a colder start to spring,” said Mike Pigott, senior meteorologist with AccuWeather in State College, Pa.

“March is finishing on the cold side and April will start pretty cool. And there’s the potential for snow in late March and early April.”

Before you start cursing the fates, gnashing your teeth and rending your garments, take heart.

This time of year, that snow may not stick to the roads.

“We sometimes see that effect in March because of the sun angle,” Pigott said. “The sunshine is much stronger. You may notice it’s warm inside your car at the end of the work day. It can start snowing when it’s around 32 degrees. If snow falls during the day, you’ve got sunshine through the clouds. The roads are warmer and are capable of melting snow.”

The Earth is closer to the sun during winter, which is colder because the Earth’s axis is turned away from the sun. The axis begins to tilt toward the sun in spring, bringing much welcomed warmer weather.

 

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