The Battleground of Spring

By the middle of March, a higher sun and an unsettled jet stream have loosened winter's grip on the Heartland. Directing Pacific storms across central latitudes of North America, the jet opens the door for summer to make a comeback; ahead of each front, south winds push heat and humidity into the Midwest while, behind these atmospheric barriers, winter plunges back from the north.

Along the clash zone, where winter shoves itself beneath the sultry air, thunderstorms ignite and, as on human battlegrounds, the air erupts with flashes of light and the roar of explosions. This war of seasons will continue into mid June when the jet stream finally settles in Canada, winter retreats to the far north and summer reclaims the Heartland.

We humans, anxious for an end to winter's reign, tend to enjoy the balmy advance of summer and resent the counterattacks of winter. But it is this prolonged battle that yields the copious moisture of spring, a vital element in nature's verdant recovery. And, despite the potential danger, most of us relish the thunderstorms of spring which, no doubt, rekindle hope in our tropical souls.