March 27th, 2008 - MARCH, MY FAVORITE MONTH

By Dennis Gordon

Here it is, the month of March.  If there is one month in the year that I dislike the most, it has to be March.  Let me say that again, so there is no misunderstanding, I don’t like March as well as I like some of the other months of the year.

My son was supposed to have been born on March 23, 1974.  It was cold, icy, snowy and the wind was blowing, but he knew that I didn’t like March and waited until April 1st to be born.  What a good son I have.

These feelings about March are not only my opinion but also the opinion of many of my friends.  One of my friends and his wife go south for the winter, not so much that they will miss winter, but March.  They leave in November so they can get a head start on it.

 If you are a person who has to work outside in the elements, you probably feel the same way.  The weather changes daily and you never know how to dress.  If you dress for cold temperatures, it turns warm.  If you dress for warm temperatures, it turns cold.  It rains. It snows. The wind blows. It turns hot. It turns cold.  Not even your local weatherperson can predict the weather with any type of accuracy.

The old weather proverb of “In like a lion, out like a lamb,” is one that many people believe in.  If you stop and analyze this old saying, it would seem to be true.  After all, the days are getting longer, spring has begun and winter is officially over.  But alas, everything is not as it seems.

What about the other half of this proverb?  “In like a lamb, out like a lion.”   That would mean March begins with balmy temperatures and sunny skies.  Beautiful days for the beginning of March, which is still officially winter.  The end of March would have blustery days, maybe even snow and ice, windy and just plain miserable.  I’ve seen this happen many times.

Which is it when on the first day of March, you get up, walk out to get your paper and it is about sixty degrees, with beautiful blue skies.  You think to yourself, what a wonderful day it is, when all of a sudden, the temperature drops to about 35 degrees, it rains, tornado warnings are out and everything has just turned miserable.  Is March coming in like a lamb, or is it a lion, when on the same day you have both extremes?

So why is it that March has so many variations in it’s weather? 

Does old man winter just refuse to give up?  That’s what I think, but the real reason is the “Polar Front.”

The Polar Front is a stationary cold front that forms a boundary between polar and tropical type air masses.  During the month of March, it normally lies across the Great Lakes basin.  When it dips to the south, it brings cold, unpredictable weather with it.  When it slides northward, it brings balmy temperatures with it.  Where these two air masses meet, it brings thunderstorms and blustery winds.

This Polar Front is always on the move, so that is the real reason it can be cold and snowy one day and then pleasant the following day.

Just the other afternoon, my wife, Linda, and I went out on our deck to look and see if our jonquils and tulips were starting to sprout.  There they were starting to poke their little heads up out of the ground.  You know, now that I think about it, maybe March isn’t so terrible after all.

A little piece of trivia for you:  Spring moves northward at about thirteen miles per day.  There is one for you to “spring” on your friends.


Comments are closed.