Season also an ideal time for observing nature

Last updated: April 07. 2014 4:38PM - 825 Views
By Sarah Allen sallen@civitasmedia.com

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With recent temperatures reaching the 70s, spring seems to have replaced the ice and snow of this year’s frigid winter; however, whenever one season changes to the next, the weather is rarely predictable.

“We could still have bouts of cool weather,” said Steve Hrebenach, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Wilmington.

Further, Hrebenach said there is still a chance that below normal temperatures could occur in the upcoming weeks, and even possibly for the rest of the month.

For that reason, snow, he said, is “not out of the question.”

In comparison to last year’s spring, Hrebenach said, “It looks like for March, temperatures were pretty similar.”

This year’s start to spring, he said, has been “similar to how cool it’s been overall” in recent years.

However, in comparison to March 2012, this year was much colder. In fact, two years ago, Hrebenach said, the area experienced an “extremely warm start to spring.”

Though, he said, the dryness of March 2012 was comparable to this year’s, which was dryer than March 2013 in terms of total amount of liquid.

For the rest of the season, The Farmer’s Almanac predicts that “April and May will be warmer and drier than normal,” according to the almanac’s website.

The website further shows that, while April will still see several showers and thunderstorms, the average rainfall will be one inch less than normal.

Myron Padgett, also a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Wilmington, said that when examining a long-term forecast, a season is looked at “as a whole.” The official forecast, he added, comes out of Washington, D.C.

He added that the severity of this past winter does not indicate any specific weather patterns for this year’s spring. And while meteorologists study past trends, predicting a longterm forecast can be difficult.

For example, according to Hrebenach, “There’s no way to determine severe weather, but some always comes with season change.”

Because spring weather can be unpredictable, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests planning for possible severe events.

The CDC website states that thunderstorms present the most serious threat, as “they can bring lightening, tornadoes, and flooding.”

To prepare, the CDC recommends having a battery operated flashlight and radio, with extra batteries for both; an emergency evacuation plan; a list of important personal information; and a first aid kit.

And while spring can be an unstable time of year, it is also one of warm days and blossoming nature.

The rise in temperatures will bring opportunities to observe local wildlife, according to Kathy Garza-Behr, Wildlife Communications Specialist with the Ohio Division of Natural Resources.

Bird and skunk activity, she said, have begun to increase, while coyote movement should decrease as this time of year represents the end of their breeding period.

Further, the first spring plants to look forward to, Garza-Behr said, would be wildflowers. Specifically, she said trilliums tend to start early.

And while Garza-Behr said that spring is an ideal season for observing nature, she added that individuals should exercise caution around swollen creeks and other areas of high water. After all, keeping safety in mind is important when enjoying nature.

And each outing, Garza-Behr added, can be a unique and exciting experience. Individuals, she said, “will see something different” each time they go out. “Whenever you can, just get out there and enjoy it.”

Sarah Allen may be reached at 937-393-3456 or on Twitter @SarahAllenHTG.

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