The Wyoming Valley woke up to a winter wonderland Friday with a coating of fresh snow covering rooftops and lawns, but a springlike weekend forecast is a good indication that it just might have been Old Man Winter’s last gasp.
And it’s not only the forecast of temperatures climbing into the 50s today through Monday that points to the season of rebirth being upon us.
Check out the area store aisles full of jellybeans, chocolate bunnies and brightly colored baskets. Easter will arrive in just 22 days, and not even a chilling sequester of government funding can put off the annual Easter egg roll at the White House. Egg hunts abound locally, as well, in anticipation of the arrival of the big bunny on March 31.
Well before breaking out Easter bonnets or suits, however, folks here will be rummaging through closets and dresser drawers for green apparel and accessories, as we celebrate the feast of St. Patrick on March 17.
No matter what the weather, hordes of Irish and Irish wannabes will fill the streets of Wilkes-Barre next Saturday for the city’s St. Patrick’s Parade. Thousands are expected to do the same today in the Lackawanna County seat for Scranton’s annual St. Patrick’s Parade.
And another not-so-welcome sign of spring is only hours away. Come 2 a.m. Sunday, it’s the official start of Daylight Savings Time, and the U.S. government orders us to “spring ahead” an hour and, at the same time, lose 60 minutes of sweet slumber.
So don’t forget to push your clocks ahead an hour before going to bed tonight, or you might be an hour late for work or church. And at least you can take comfort in the fact that it will be relatively warm when you do wake up.
Even with the immediate promise of April-like weather, it’s probably best not to pack away your gloves and galoshes just yet. A check with the National Weather Service for record snowfalls at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport in Avoca shows that winter storms in mid- and even late-March are not unheard of.
On March 13, 1993, the area saw a record 18.7 inches of snow for that date. And we saw more than 11 inches of snow fall as late in the month as March 29, 1970. Heck, just two years ago, we saw 11 inches of snow fall on March 23. So we’re not out of the woods yet.
Of course, it could get hotter, too. The local record high for March was measured on March 31, 1998, when the temperature hit 85 degrees.
For now, how about we just smile, knowing that this weekend’s forecasted high temps are 5 to 10 degrees higher than the 45-degree normals for these dates? Enjoy it while it lasts.