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!