Current mood: hopefulYesterday afternoon we got this from the National Weather Service here in Pittsburgh:
"URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PITTSBURGH PA
629 PM EST FRI FEB 29 2008
..HEAVY SNOW WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT EST TONIGHT...
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PITTSBURGH HAS ISSUED A HEAVY SNOW WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT EST TONIGHT.
UP TO 4 INCHES OF SNOW HAS FALLEN ACROSS MUCH OF THE WARNING AREA SINCE EARLY THIS AFTERNOON. AN ADDITIONAL ACCUMULATION OF 1 TO 3 INCHES BY MIDNIGHT TONIGHT WILL BRING STORM TOTALS TO 5 TO 7 INCHES BEFORE THE SNOW TAPERS TO SNOW SHOWERS.
A HEAVY SNOW WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST...KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT...FOOD...AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY."
Hardly a harbinger of spring, is it? Well, as the song goes, that was yesterday, and yesterday's gone.
It's March! And just like I said in December about winter, and in September about autumn, by my definition it is now spring because the calendar changed. Sure, as I write, six inches of snow sits in the yard, but:
* The birds are back! All manner of twittering can be heard outside.
* It's bright out! The highest the sun gets on December 21 is now attained by 9:30 in the morning.
* The sap is rising! Maple syrup production is going full blast.
* The Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue is out!
Can warm days be far behind? Can the sound of peepers on mild evenings be more than a couple weeks away?
The official astronomical start of spring is March 20. By my reckoning, the height of springtime is about a month later, about the third week of April. That's when things are greenest, snow even in the air is a rarity, and it has not gotten too warm yet.
But it's March! So, everyone, run out in the snow and exclaim "Welcome, Springtime!"