MAINE, USA — We are (technically) in spring right now ... meteorological spring, that is.
Each of the four seasons has two different start dates depending on who you ask. There are meteorological seasons and astronomical seasons. The dates differ because there are different criteria for the start of the season. So, what's the difference?
Meteorological seasons are based on annual temperature cycles. This means that winter is based on the coldest three months of the year and summer the warmest three months of the year. Spring and fall are the transition seasons. That sounds pretty obvious, but meteorological seasons tend to represent those cycles better than astronomical seasons.
Astronomical seasons are based on the Earth's position relative to the sun. Each season starts on a solstice or equinox, which is why the dates can shift a day or two from one year to the next.
Meteorological seasons do not differ from year-to-year. They always start on and end on the same dates. Spring started on March 1 and will run through May 31.
So, what all of this means is that spring has begun! We're going to see some dramatic shifts in temperatures over the next few months. High temperatures started off in the mid-30s and will warm up to 70 degrees by the end of May.
We normally only receive about 16-18 inches of snow in the spring, but that does not seem to be the case this year with what's looking to be an active pattern this month.
Happy (meteorological) spring!