Meteorological Winter Ends. Hello Meteorological Spring!

I can't believe how fast time flies!{ } It's already the first of March, which also marks the start of meteorological spring!{ } You may be asking what the difference is between meteorological spring and astronomical spring (the one that always starts around the 20th or 21st of March).{ }

Meteorological spring is how climate data is measured.{ } It's easier for meteorologists to group the seasons into months.{ } It's broken down like this: meteorological spring includes March, April, and May; meteorological summer: June, July, August; meteorological fall: September, October, November; and meteorological winter: December, January, February, and March.{ }

Astronomical seasons begin when the spring and fall equinox occur and at the summer and winter solstice.{ } These times are determined based on the sun's tilt and alignment over the equator.{ }

Since yesterday was the last day of meteorological winter, I thought it would be interesting to look back at December, January, and February to see what stood out.{ } Both December and January ended above average.{ } December averaged 5.6° higher than average and January was 4.3° milder than average.{ } February; however, was 0.7° below average.{ } This makes February only the 3rd month, in the past 23 months, below average.{ }

On to the snow.{ } Sorry snow-lovers.{ } It was a very uneventful snow season in Washington.{ } The average snowfall for meteorological winter in D.C. is 13.6".{ } Between December, January, and February, D.C. got a whopping 1.5" (yes, a bit of sarcasm there).{ } This total actually ties for the 6th lowest meteorological winter snowfall. The lowest snowfall in a December, January, February period was back in the winter of 1972-1973 with 0.1".{ } So I guess it could be worse, snow-lovers.

This doesn't mean since we're switching the calendar to march and meteorological season to spring that we can't get any snow.{ } Remember the blizzard of '93?{ } Colleague Alex Liggitt wrote up a great blog on all the March averages and extremes from precipitation, to temperatures, and even severe weather.{ } Check it out!