This year, the early spring weather really is warmer than normal. Nope, you did not imagine it!
You all know by now that the spring equinox 2016 was the earliest in our lifetime, arriving on March 19 and 20. However, this is an astronomical event and due to some Leap Year weirdness.
Coincidentally, our springtime weather also came early for most of North American.
- Of course, New York and the Northeast, just to be different, celebrated the beginning of spring with snow.
- But, if you were in Chicago, Dallas or LA, springtime weather came early.
See this chart showing the departure from normal tempeatures from March 1 to March 22, 2016.
Spring warmth came early! Image: HPRCC.
Why is this happening?
- The early warmth that we are feeling this springtime is due to warm waters off our Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf Coasts. The giant El Niño has washed hotter waters as far north as Alaska.
- Meanwhile the tropical Gulf Stream is as much as 5°F steamier off the East Coast. The marine air masses are wafting inland, bringing lovely warmth and some very unlovely storms.
The warm coastal waters are giving us a warm early spring. Source: NOAA
So get out the seeds and Bermuda shorts. It’s a warm start to spring and might as well enjoy it!
If you would like to learn more about the early spring equinox, The Old Farmer’s Almanac has a special video show about spring here, complete with astronomy pictures and gardening tips!