After one of the harshest winters in memory, and with even more snow about to fall in many states this week, spring seems far away, but it’s actually right around the corner.
The first day of spring is Thursday, March 20, the date of the vernal equinox, or spring equinox, in the northern hemisphere. The new season will begin officially at 12:57 p.m. EDT on Thursday.
But just because it’s spring, that doesn’t mean you can take out your shorts, sandals and tank tops just yet, as many regions will remain chilly through the end of March or later.
According to Accuweather.com, the northern U.S. states, the Great Lakes region and the interior Northeast will stay cold until at least Thursday. Forecasts in the Midwest, Plains and East will feel more like spring, though.
There will even be some snow in New England, upstate New York, the Great Lakes and the northern Rockies, with highs in the 30s, according to forecasts. The Weather Channel predicted snow through Tuesday for Montana, Wyoming and Colorado and snow late Wednesday through Thursday for northern New York and northern New England states like Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Snow will be even heavier for some regions with 5 or more inches in northeast South Dakota, central and northeast Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and western Upper Michigan.
However, it will feel much more like spring in the Midwest, Plains and eastern part of the country. Cities like Boston, New York City, Washington, D.C., Cincinnati, Kansas City, Mo., and Portland Ore. will have more seasonable temperatures in the 50s. Some regions will reach the 60s, like Denver, Salt Lake City and San Francisco.
Unfortunately for those who can't wait for warmer weather, Weather.com said the chilly temperatures are here to stay. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center said below-average temperatures will likely continue into the week after spring's arrival March 23 and will last until March 27. The center said a cold front will spread from the southeast to all states east of the Rockies for the final week of March, with temperatures expected to be 10 to 20 degrees lower than late-March averages.
Accuweather said it may not even reach 32 degrees next week in parts of the central Plains, the Midwest and the Northeast.
Whether the temperatures follow or not, spring will arrive on Thursday, though. The vernal equinox, set for 12:57 p.m. EST, is when the sun moves across the celestial equator, yielding longer days and shorter nights in the Northern hemisphere.