The Start of Meteorological Spring

The Start of Meteorological Spring

March 1st is the meteorological start of spring. It is what meteorologists refer to as the start of a new season of weather patterns and changes. Everyone knows of the spring equinox, but many don't know about the meteorological start to the season. 

Thunderstorms and Rainbows

According to Accuweather's spring forecast we could be in for a wild ride of temperature swings, which seems like common place in the Pittsburgh region this time of year. 

You'll also notice changing weather patterns and many more thunderstorms. The Washington Post's article about meteorological spring describes this shift well: "—the atmosphere will become increasingly unstable, or prone to rising air. Such instability gives rise to heavy downpours and thunderstorms."  With the increase in thunderstorm activity, we will have more chances to catch rainbows. 


Brighter Sunlight

This shift in weather begins to happen at the North Pole, where the days become longer and the sun begins to heat up the earth in the northern hemisphere.

During this time of year, we finally experience some warmer weather trends, even more rain, but the sun starts to shine a bit more too. A much welcome change is that the days begin to get longer and brighter. Living in Pittsburgh, our winters can seem pretty dark and dreary. It is so wonderful when we get more sunlight to enjoy. 

Spring Ephemerals

During this seasonal shift, the ground starts to warm up and spring bulbs begin to break their dormancy. They are called spring ephemerals because these flowers are only here for a short blip of time and disappear once the trees leaf out and temperatures warm. 

If you planted spring bulbs in the fall, you will begin to see these beauties. The first to show their gorgeous blooms are Lenten roses (Helleborus orientalis), snowdrops (Galanthus), and crocuses (Crocus). You can also spy some early native wildflowers while hiking through the local parks such as spring beauty (Claytonia virginica).

This is also when the grass begins to grow again and you can catch the smell on a warm breeze. 


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