One Day of Winter …Spring Comes Early
by Roscoe Shaw and Heidi Sonen
Winter finally came. For one day! On February 19th, five and a half inches of snow fell and that has been the only significant snow of the year. It melted the next day and five days later we hit 76 degrees.
The day before the snow, the sun was out and we peaked at 62 degrees. Our promises of Sunday snow were met with great skepticism but Mother Nature delivered in a most improbable way.
Has it ever been 60 one day and snowed the next before? Well, of course it has. This is Virginia. On March 29, 2003, the high was 78 and the next day had three inches of snow. October 9, 1979 was 76 degrees and was followed by the earliest snow ever the next day. There are dozens of cases of the sixties followed by snow in our database. Believe it or not, there are five times in 100 years when a day with temperatures in the seventies was followed by snow the next day.
March can be a snowy month but the chances drop off quickly as the month progresses. Instead, it’s time to look forward to spring. Usually, the forsythia blooms about the 13th of March but that should be coming any day now with the warm weather. According to Heidi’s blooming calendar, the cherry trees are due to bloom March 29th but expect them much earlier this year.
Also in March, Daylight Savings Time kicks in on the 11th and the sun will set at 7:36pm by the end of the month. The normal high is just 53 on the first but rises to 64 by the end of the month.
Rain was slightly below normal for the month but sheets of rain on Leap Day made up much of the deficit. So far, we are in good shape for moisture heading into the growing season. Here are some monthly rain totals from around the area.
February Rain Totals
- Afton Summit 3.22”
- UVA 3.14”
- Crozet 2.91”
- Ivy 2.69”
- Waynesboro 2.39”
- Charlottesville Airport 2.21”
- White Hall 2.17”