“The afternoon is bright, with spring in the air.
A mild March afternoon, with the breath of April stirring.”
~Antonio Machado, Spanish poet
Where did winter go? Or, better yet, did winter ever make an appearance? It came and went, as indicated on the calendar, but weather-wise the season slipped by – mostly un-noticed. As scheduled, the first day of spring arrived last Friday, March 20 at 3:45 p.m. CVST (Crescenta Valley Standard time). Mother Nature put on her annual “good show.” Despite holding back our rainfall, trees are budding, flowers are blooming and the surrounding mountainsides are turning green. Spring is here and April is not far off…
And the word you can attach to both? Showers! Wishing for much-needed spring showers and/or April showers.
The most obvious signs around the time of the vernal equinox are warmer weather and days of extended sunlight in the Northern Hemisphere. Although, for 2015, amidst the season’s fanfare was – in my words – a real “cosmic Mardi Gras.”
A total eclipse of the sun was visible over the northern Atlantic Ocean; the heather-covered moors of Scotland would have been an ideal viewing place. In addition to the spring equinox and eclipse, a “new” super moon occurred, not to be confused with one during a full moon. The lunar disk appears 15% larger than normal. These two celestial events happened simultaneously, giving astronomers a rare and normally impossible view of a new moon’s silhouette. On that day, our weather conditions provided for perfect visibility, although location-wise we completely missed the mark. Still, mostly in the throes of winter, the regions with an ideal view were either foggy or cloud covered.
An event of a much smaller scale in the universal scheme of life is happening right here in our own backyard, under the eave of our house. A bird nest is under construction. There sits beneath it a golden retriever. Still wearing her winter coat, she is keeping close watch over the comings and goings of a pair of house sparrows building their baby nursery. Whether a nest or an eclipse, neither one is more miraculous than the other.
Gusty northeasterly winds (Santa Anas) and record-breaking heat are forecast through Friday. Temperatures may climb into the 90s. A cooling trend is expected to start over the weekend as the wind changes direction. Initially warmed coming through the mountain passes, the air mass cools blowing across the ocean waters. Monday may warm up, but then be followed by mild weather, more typical of spring. The National Weather Service, on its 7 Day Forecast, shows “Wednesday Night/Thursday – A slight chance of showers.” Spring showers!
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.