Cumberland Times-News

March 19, 2014

Just go away

It may be spring, but winter isn’t leaving yet


Cumberland Times-News

— Finally, at 12:57 p.m. today, spring arrives. It marks the official end to what has been one of the coldest and snowiest winters in recent memory.

But those of us who are buoyed by the new season’s arrival may have our expectations tempered a bit. AccuWeather.com reports that chilly temperatures are going to remain for a while.

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center said below-average temperatures will likely continue into the week after spring's arrival, lasting until March 27. The center said a cold front will spread from the southeast to all states east of the Rockies for the final week of March, with temperatures expected to be 10 to 20 degrees lower than late-March averages.

Spring is called the vernal equinox. The word equinox is derived from the Latin words meaning “equal night.” Days and nights are approximately equal everywhere and the sun rises and sets due east and west.

Thus, when the sun moves across the celestial equator early this afternoon, winter is finished. In winter’s wake, schools have more than a dozen days of classes to make up, potholes abound on streets and highways, heating bills have soared and roads crews have seen salt and chemical supplies depleted.

Winter’s ferocity also makes the groundhog and almanac forecasters look smart. Most prognosticators predicted a harsh 2013-14 winter.