March 20, 2013 | LXXII, No. 51

A dry February brings a warming trend

Weather Watcher

Dry indeed, February brought a parching 0.09 inch of precipitation that included 0.6 inch of fresh snow. The mean precipitation is 0.92 inch while we had a high of 3.58 inches back in 1940. Mean snowfall is 2.5 inches. So, as you can see, we were behind by about 90 percent. Temperatures were higher, as well. The mean for February here at the home weather station was 34.2°F, while the historical mean is 32.7°F. That’s a 1.5°F uptick from the mean. The low for the month was 24.1°F (average minimum 25.7°) and a recorded high of 48.5°F (average maximum 39.7°).

As we head further into March, you can count on continued warming. I hope you have everything ready for your garden. On a recent walk with my dog, I saw evidence all around indicating green-up; spring is ready to be sprung. We’ve manipulated our clocks too, so, more daylight as well. The Climate Prediction Center (CPC), an office within the National Weather Service, states we will possibly see below-average temperatures and average precipitation chances here in Washington state.

If you’ve marked your calendar for March 20 at 4:02 a.m. and you greeted this year’s Vernal Equinox, let me know how that went, I’d still be in bed.

In Annapolis, Maryland, boatyard employees and sailboat owners celebrate the Spring Equinox with the Burning of the Socks festival. “Traditionally, the boating community wears socks only during winter,” states an entry in Wikipedia. “These are burned at the approach of warmer weather, which brings more customers and work to the area. Officially, nobody then wears socks until the next equinox.” On March 19, the Annapolis Maritime Museum will host the 7th Annual Sock Burning Ceremony. I wonder what the odor is like?

I’m curious, did anyone seen Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) in the western sky just after sunset? Folks are excited about it and, according to Astronomy Magazine, “On March 12, look due west a half-hour after sunset, and you should see a slender crescent Moon hanging some 8° above the horizon.”

Our evening sky will allow us to see Jupiter in the Southwest and Uranus in west.

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