Spring fever broke out across the region on Sunday along with rapid snow melt and even a glimpse or two of  bare ground in spots, especially along the coastline.

Somewhat colder air has returned today, but it’s still not anything more than a mid-February chill. The pattern we are enjoying is perfect for making use of all the snow and the thick ice on most ponds without having to bundle up in our bulkiest cold-weather gear.

Another front moves into the area late this evening and early Wednesday with the chance of a some light precipitation. There may be some very spotty drizzle or rain with temperatures below freezing early tomorrow. There could be some icy roads for early commuters.

After the brief precipitation possibility Wednesday, the weather turns mild again with highs approaching 45 degrees and then even milder air for Thursday.

The record in Portland for Feb. 23 is 61 degrees set back in 1990 and we have virtually no shot at reaching it. But temperatures on Thursday will reach well into the 40s with a 50-plus degree reading not out of the question. These temperatures are significantly above the 30-year averages and more typical of the first or even second week of April. The average high in Portland on April 10th is 51 degrees. That should give you some sort of reference point for the expected mild air later this week and what we had Sunday.

I don’t think this is the end of winter, but we are certainly going to make it through the rest of the month without any cold air and it’s highly unlikely we see any more snow. If you look at what type of weather follows a mild February, the picture is somewhat cloudy. Depending on what source you review, you can find a different line of thinking. In years with a weakening La Nina and a warm February, like 1954, the odds are March brings a colder pattern. Of course odds are not a forecast, they only tell us that the chances of a colder than average March are a bit better than 50/50.

NOAA’s outlook for March shows the chances of colder or warmer averages in much of the country are basically the flip of a coin.  It’s become rare to have a cold month here in New England, so if you are a betting person you probably want to go warm for March as well.

The 8- to 14-day outlook, which can be quite reliable, has much of the East with a better than even chance of warmer than average weather.

Warmer than average weather is forecast to end February and begin March. NOAA


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