Category Archives: Seasons

Are April showers likely to be snow?

After a benevolent first week of April, we have really been brought back to reality as temperatures in Madison have been increasingly chillier since the monthly high of 79 was recorded on April 6.

April 14 was particularly chilly, with the high only getting to 40 under persistent clouds. It could be worse, however. Last Friday it snowed over southern New England — with totals as high as 9 inches in southern New Hampshire and widely greater than 2 inches in the northern suburbs of Boston. Continue reading

Category: History, Meteorology, Seasons

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What should I know about the spring equinox?

The spring equinox — also called the vernal equinox — marks the beginning of the spring season in the Northern Hemisphere and the autumn season in the Southern Hemisphere.

This year the equinox arrived at 4:37 a.m. Saturday. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Seasons

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Has March been a bit unusual so far?

It has been a fairly benign first two weeks of March for those of us in southern Wisconsin.

Through the first 11 days of the month, we have averaged 6.2 degrees above normal. In fact, in the nearly three weeks since Feb. 22 — when we had this season’s maximum snow depth of 16 inches in Madison — we have averaged the same 6.2 degrees above normal. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Meteorology, Seasons

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What is special about March weather?

March 1 marks the beginning of spring and kicks off an active and variable weather season. Flooding, temperature swings, tornados and snowstorms are all common springtime weather events.

A flood occurs when water flows into a region faster than it can be absorbed into the soil, stored in a lake or reservoir, or removed in runoff or a waterway into a drainage basin. In early spring, the ground can still be frozen and so cannot absorb the precipitation. Rain and melting snow will instead flow into rivers causing springtime flooding. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Seasons

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How severe was the Northern Hemisphere winter this year?

Today is March 1 so the meteorological winter (December-January-February) is over.

The areal extent of air colder than minus 23 degrees at about 1 mile above the ground throughout December through February is one way of comparing the severity of the Northern Hemisphere winter from one year to the next. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Meteorology, Seasons

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