Local meteorologist says this year one of top 5 coldest 'first days of spring'
If you think this winter has been dragging on and on, you’re not wrong.
Nick Greenawalt, meteorologist at the Northern Indiana National Weather Service office said that this March has been on average 20 degrees colder than the same time last year. Wednesday was the official first day of spring according to the calendar, but temperatures stayed in the 20s for most of the day.
“We looked back at some of the past first days of spring across the area and this year will definitely be on record as one of the coldest first days of spring,” said Greenawalt Wednesday. “It certainly ranks in the top five.”
The coldest first day of spring on record, according to Greenawalt, was in March 1965 — a low of 21 degrees was recorded in the South Bend area.
He said that part of the reason this winter seems to be lasting so long is that last March was actually the warmest March on record.
“We will be in this cooler weather pattern for at least the next two weeks,” said Greenawalt.
The current forecast includes snow for the weekend.
“The typical high (for this time of year) is in the upper 40s and lower 50s,” said Greenawalt. “We are well below that today.”
So when can you ditch the winter coat and enjoy some warm weather? It might be several more weeks.
“Normally as we head into April we start to get out of coat weather,” said Greenawalt. “There’s a possibility that this cold pattern will break by then. As we get into April and May we should probably be in normal temperature (ranges), maybe even above normal.”
He added that colder temperatures now probably won’t affect the summer months.
“We are showing increased probabilities for above normal temperatures this summer, but in general you can’t really tie what’s happening now to what will be happening in summer,” said Greenawalt.
April and May are also peak times for severe weather occurrences according to Greenawalt.
“The pattern we are in right now is unfavorable (for severe weather),” said Greenawalt. “We need to be getting a lot of moisture and instability in temperatures (for severe weather to occur). If this pattern does change and we get…moisture returning, the chances of having severe weather will increase.”