The word of the season is . . . variability

From Pamela McCown at the Institute for Climate Education at A-B Tech:

As we say goodbye to February (YEAH!) and hello to the coming spring — you’ll notice how changes to our environment seem to happen very quickly this time of year.

The sun is growing higher in our sky every day as we head toward the official start of spring on March 20. Take a look at the image I shot at sunrise on Tuesday morning of this week (Feb. 28). You’re looking due east at the Black Mountains and you can see where the sunrise is occurring now on the horizon compared to where the sunrise occurred at the time of the winter solstice in December.

As we head toward spring, the sun is heating up the Northern Hemisphere again and bringing life back to the mountains. Clear and sunny days can quickly turn cloudy and stormy as North America becomes the battleground for competing warm and cold air masses. Such is the case now as a major storm is spreading snow across the northern states while bringing the chance for severe weather across the central and Southeast, including Western North Carolina, later today.

So, while we’re beginning to enjoy the signs of the coming spring, remember that because the word of the season is variability — we often see some of the biggest winter storms during the months of March and April.  As they say . . . . “it ain’t over until the fat lady sings” and she’s still backstage, ready to go on at a moment’s notice!

If you’re interested in keeping an eye on the storms, I encourage you to bookmark this website.  It provides a great country-wide view of the Doppler radars that are so critical to providing severe weather information.

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