In the Roman times, March was the first month of the New Year. In addition, there existed the Kalends and Nones of each month, which usually corresponded to the phases of the moon (new and half, respectively). The Ides of the month often fell on the full moon or halfway through the month (it’s not certain which), though the day was considered important, and became even moreso after the infamous, seemingly precognized assassination of Julius Caesar, during the month of March. Nowadays, society is more weary of the Ides of April (tax season), while March is seen to “come in as a lion, and out as a lamb,” or vice versa.” The latter, which has become somewhat of a cultural aphorism, delineates that the beginning of the month often starts with a powerful storm, and ends with calm. Many have stated that the opposite can hold true, but this was not the original intent, as the phrase was meant more to deal with the dynamic change in weather during the beginning of March.
At the misfortune of beginning an article with a tangent, the weather has indeed been dynamic recently. While this may not hold true for the mid-Atlantic, the rest of the nation has bore witness to the change in seasons which is rapidly encroaching upon the lower 48. On March 21, the Vernal Equinox will place the Earth at the point in its orbit around the Sun, at which the Sun’s rays are directly overhead at 0 degrees north latitude. Lay man’s terms? Spring begins. The warm-up of the Northern Hemisphere has already begun, and warm air is beginning to migrate north over the United States. With it, there have been several powerful storm systems move across the lower Mississippi Valley, still-potent storms moving across the Great Lakes (which are shallow enough to warm up quickly, as is the Gulf…), and the northerly migration of the polar jet. While winter is not yet over (despite what many people and a groundhog would force us to want to believe), warmth is coming. Recent cold shots, however, have brought Canadian air far enough south to create snow, and keep the ground cold.
Confused? As am I. But, that is the point of Spring. Enough flux in the atmosphere for there to be shots of cold, as what happened yesterday evening, moist enough to bring snow, or warm enough to drag rain in from the South. The type of precipitation merely depends upon the set-up of air masses, available moisture, and location of the jet. battle between cold and warm air masses has begun, and it will only get more violent through the Spring. Out like a lamb? Depends upon your location, and the air masses/jet stream set-up. Luckily, yesterday’s cold front was not only attached to a northerly-displaced low, but brought dry air in behind it. Thus, despite being cold, it warmed quickly, as air with little moisture can be warmed rapidly. So, the weekend will be a bit warmer. It may be unsettled, as a pattern of low pressures will be moving straight across the nation. Expect sun with several period of clouds, highs in the mid-50s, and rain possible on Sunday. The nice thing about the pattern for the next few days, is that cloudy nights will keep heat in.
Best thing to do? Keep an eye out. Or, ask me directly. Job security is nice.