NOTE: This article includes information and text from the National Weather Service.
(WGHP) – It may not feel like it temperature-wise, but spring has sprung in North Carolina!
While meteorological spring began on March 1, the spring equinox occurred on March 20 at 5:24 p.m., marking the first day of astronomical spring.
Meteorological v. Astronomical Seasons
There are two different ways to break up the year, meteorological and astronomical seasons.
A meteorological season is defined by the weather and is used by meteorologists for an easier way to keep track of records and seasonal normals. This breaks down the year and seasons into three-month periods that are based on temperature cycles.
Astronomical seasons depend on how the earth moves around the sun. The spring and autumn equinoxes occur when the sun lands equally on both hemispheres, meaning the sun is directly over the equator.
The winter and summer solstices happen when the Earth sees its strongest tilt toward or away from the sun.
What are “normal” spring temperatures in the Triad?
While spring marks the beginning of progressively warmer temperatures, anyone who has lived in North Carolina during the changing of the seasons knows this is not always the case.
February ended up being one of the warmest on record in the Triad. March has been cooler than February overall but, as of March 20, we have observed an equal number of above normal and below normal days.
The first nine days in March were above normal with highs in the 60s and 70s. However, with the exception of March 16, a cooler trend has taken over with highs remaining in the 30s, 40s and 50s.
While the first day of spring did not necessarily feel like spring, it certainly will by the second half of the week.
Afternoon temperatures will reach the 60s, 70s and the 80s as we approach the second to last week of March. Temperatures will go from around 10 degrees below normal to nearly 20 degrees above normal.
A pattern change is expected as we approach the end of the month with warmer-than-normal temperatures forecasted to continue as we near April 1.
The summer solstice will occur June 20. Until then, the days will continue to get longer and temperatures will grow warmer.
In the Triad, normal high temperatures will increase from the mid-60s at the end of March to the mid-70s by the end of April. By May and June, normal afternoon temperatures approach the 80s.
Spring 2023: Temperature and Precipitation Outlook
On March 16, the Climate Prediction Center released the outlook for April, May and June. In the Triad, we normally see mornings between 40 and 70 degrees and afternoons between 70 and 90 degrees.
According to the temperature outlook, we may observe temperatures warmer than normal this spring.
It’s not just the Triad that is expecting a chance for warmer than normal temperatures. Much of the southern and eastern United States may see warmer than usual temperatures.
Parts of the Great Basin and Northern Plains have the best chance to see cooler-than-normal temperatures this spring.
This spring is also expected to bring wet weather to some portions of the country while others may experience a bit of a dry spell.
Wetter than normal conditions are possible in the Midwest and portions of the Northeast while drier than normal conditions are more likely in the Pacific Northwest and the Southwest.