Calendar says April, but nature leans toward March

The other night a meteorologist on a local TV channel remarked that “April is the new March” in our area. Considering all the talk about global warming, I thought this was a rather strange statement for a weather expert to make, but then I remembered what occurred in April last year …a major snowstorm hammered us, bringing down trees, limbs and powerlines. Hmm, maybe there’s some basis of truth to his statement, at least the past couple of years.

Already we’ve had a March that was very un-March-like, with little snow and fairly mild temperatures. Now this week has seen cold and snow much more representative of March than April. Even several of the far southern states were shivering with below-freezing temperatures. Not very good conditions for many of the springtime outdoor activities people look forward to. So is this recent weather flip-flop typical or atypical? To be honest, no one really knows.

In Chenango County and elsewhere, we’ve grown so accustomed to anticipating our weather according to calendar dates that we forget how volatile weather patterns can be. Trout fishing begins on April 1, vegetable gardeners often plant their early stuff around Good Friday, and then spring turkey season opens on May 1. Even the scheduled opening of baseball season goes by the calendar and not the possible conditions. But all these dates are based on weather averages amassed over many years. Realistically, it’s better to let the actual weather conditions at the time determine our activities. Who in their right mind would be shoveling snow off their garden so they could plant peas & onions just because it was Good Friday?

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