Weather: Springing SpringBy Robert Korty
STAFF METEOROLOGIST -- With the arrival of March this week, winter-weary people may feel optimistic about the advent of longer days and warmer temperatures.
While the astronomical first day of spring is defined as the vernal equinox (the time the sun is directly over the equator -- March 20 this year), for most climatological and meteorological categorizations, March 1 marks the arrival of the new season. This may be an academic distinction to those that regard snow in March and April (which is not uncommon in Boston) as a travesty, but weather patterns will start to change as days lengthen and solar radiation increases in intensity in the coming weeks.
Over the past weekend, strong thunderstorms marked the boundary between warm, moist air over the South and cold, polar air over the Great Plains. Thunderstorms, including a few that spawned tornadoes, produced wind damage across much of the Southeast. Further north, up to 20 inches of snow buried portions of South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa. This clash of air masses will be prevalent over the coming weeks as spring arrives.
Temperatures in the middle 70s to lower 80s (24-28°C) will be common today across the states bordering the Gulf of Mexico, while highs will only reach the upper teens and lower 20s (-8 to -5°C) across the Dakotas. Expect quiet weather here for the next few days, with seasonably mild temperatures today; cooler air will filter in to New England by midweek.
Today: Sunny and seasonable. High in the low 40s (about 5°C).
Tonight: Clear. Low near 20°F (-7°C).
Wednesday: Sunny but cooler. High near 32°F (0°C).
Thursday: Partly cloudy. High near 30°F (-1°C); low near 14°F (-10°C).