It's the first day of spring, and it's going to look and feel like it across the Upstate, Western NC, and NE Georgia. Highs will reach near 70° in the Upstate, with low to mid-60s in the mountains. No rain is expected, as sunny skies should stick around all day. But, is this typical for the first day of spring? Usually, temperatures this time of year are in the upper 50s to mid-60s, so it's a bit warmer than our averages. The past few years' first days of spring have been all over the place.
March 20th has been the "first day of spring" from 2010 through this year, but none of the temperatures have been similar! Here's a look at what's happened in our past at the start of the spring season:
2010 - No rain. 75 Upstate, 69 mountains.
2011 - No rain. 64 Upstate, 62 mountains.
2012 - Mountain rain. 84 Upstate, 80 mountains.
2013 - Mountain rain/snow. 59 Upstate, 56 mountains.
2014 - Forecasting no rain, 70 Upstate, 63 mountains.
A lot of times, we can use climatology (past years' data) to help determine what's going on in a particular weather pattern. This can work well in a large-picture situation, for questions like: "it's been a cold winter, will that lead to a hot summer?" We can look at past data to see if any year with a colder than average winter led to that pattern. But, when it comes to specific days' forecasts, the data above shows that looking at the past doesn't necessarily mean anything at all. Lucky for us, we have a lot more to look at than just what's happened in the past in our forecast routines. Enjoy this picture-perfect spring day! Who knows if next year will be anything like it!