BOSTON (CBS) – It’s time. Time to remove the snow sticks from the driveway. Time to think about planting again … cold harvest vegetables and pansies. Time to clean up the yard and clear out the patio and patio furniture. It’s spring!
Very rarely does the official start of spring in New England actually mean anything other than the sun crossing the equator and going north. But this year I feel like it means so much more. This year marks a new beginning. As vaccination efforts continue to improve and restrictions continue to relax, there has never been a better time for a star source.
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It’s funny … we dream of the arrival of spring all winter long. We have special graphics that count down the days. We celebrate every little sign from the smallest flower bud to the first sighting of the returning birds and animals. What we often forget here is what New England springtime really is. Spring certainly means the return of the growing season, longer days and the greening of our landscape. Spring in New England can also be pretty gruesome. How many times can you remember seeing a temperature map in March and April (or even May) with the rest of the country basking in warmth (oranges and reds) and New England in blue? Or how about one of our classic spring tracks, when the temperatures are in the low 40s under a blanket of cloud and drizzling day in and day out … I don’t know about you, but I’ve sat in dozens of April Red Sox games that a blanket trembled beneath me. And then there is the classic “back door cold front” … suddenly, thanks to our own private weather phenomenon, the forecasts for the 60s turn to the 40s. What I am describing is New England springtime. If one day I became a snow bird, my plan would certainly not be to return here in March or April (heck no!). Somewhere between Mother’s Day and Memorial Day seems like the much safer choice.
Just look at the last 5-10 years … while our earth is warming at a record pace and seemingly trending above average every month, it seems that spring in New England didn’t get the memo. Five of the last seven April in Boston had sub-par temperatures AND five of the last seven had snowfall! May has been chilly lately too. Three of the last four months of May in Boston had sub-par temperatures, and how could we forget the snow of May 9th! It’s been 8 years since we had an above-average number of April and May in a row. Don’t get me wrong, I by no means “wish” for global warming in our region, but I find it fascinating that for some reason our spring lags behind the other seasons in the warming department.
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This year looks different.
All signs point to a mild, above-average spring. The long-term forecasts for the next few weeks look warm. The long-term forecasts for April look warm. The longer-term forecasts for April-May-June are above average. Heck, the even longer-term forecasts for the summer look above average. There are several reasons to believe these predictions might come true, but a few really stand out. It looks like a weak La Nina will stay here and maybe even make a comeback later this year … that promotes the warmth. The Pacific and Atlantic remain largely warmer than average, and the oceans are a major driver in determining our weather on a larger scale.
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I think that went a long way to tell you we will hit the ground this spring. Sure, there will be a few cloudy / rough days and “cooler coast” days, but overall this spring looks warm. I say put it on. Let’s go outside. Let’s start living again.