“March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.”~English Proverb
This year’s lion arrived ahead of schedule. Roaring and wet, and disguised as a storm, it headed straight for the foothills. Weather-wise, as the showers continued several days, a February finale became a March miracle. Within that short period of time, according to my gauge, 6.06 inches of wonderful and much needed rain soaked the Crescenta Valley. In anticipation of an upcoming storm and being slightly obsessed with weather, my husband’s suggested postponing a Yosemite trip for the weekend. Was it worth it? I guess it depends on whom you ask. But the good news is … he issued a rain check for a future date. Oh, our grand season rainfall total is at 8.11 inches. Besides the possibility of more “miracles,” the chance of April showers is on its way.
The old saying, “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb” is most often first heard when we’re children. When I first heard the proverb, I envisioned cold and windy winter days (a lion) gradually being replaced by warmer, spring-like ones (a lamb). At school, a large construction paper March calendar was stapled to the bulletin board at the front of the classroom. Every day, we would affix to the calendar either a cotton ball lamb or a yarn-mane lion determined by the weather outside. As I look back, as a parent and teacher, this was an excellent activity – reading, math, history, science (the stars and weather observation) and art all included.
Most sayings and folklore that have been perpetuated through the generations must contain some underlying truths or most would have become long forgotten. The origins of this particular one appear to be founded in the stars and in the weather.
According to The Old Farmers Almanac, the constellation Leo, the lion, is seen rising in the night sky around March 1 and is almost directly overhead at the end of the month. Meanwhile, the constellation Aries, the ram or lamb, is about parallel at the first of the month but by the end is setting. So March comes in with Leo rising and out with Aries setting. Where does the weather fit in to the picture?
Let’s look at our own local averages for the answer.
March 1 – High of 70 degrees, low in the upper 40s
March 31 – High of 75 degrees, low in the low 50s
Every year brings its own story, but overall the weather becomes milder by the month’s end. So, yes, “In like a lion and out like a lamb!”
Lions or lambs for the upcoming days? According to the National Weather Service, not a single roar will be heard in our area (except from a possible mountain lion) with “chamber of commerce days” expected for the weekend. Clear skies and temperatures in the upper 70s to the low 80s are predicted. Thrown into the influential factors are possible Santa Ana winds, a drifting marine layer and a weak storm system north of Santa Barbara.
With nature’s recent watering and perfect weather, set your clocks forward and enjoy an extra hour of daylight and the lengthening evening time.
Sue Kilpatrick is a Crescenta Valley resident and Official Skywarn Spotter for the National Weather Service.
Reach her at email@example.com.