The Chill of March

Here in the American Midwest, late winter and early spring rarely bring the coldest temperatures of the year but often harbor some of the most uncomfortable weather. An unsettled jet stream, undulating across the country, creates an alternating influx of mild and chilly air; the collision of these air masses assures copious precipitation, usually in the form of wet snow or cold rain.

The combination of high humidity, cool air and breezy conditions is often more chilling than the dry, frigid air of mid winter, especially when it arrives on the heels of a warm interlude. In the heart of winter, we adjust to the cold and come to appreciate any weather that climbs above the freezing point; by early spring, periods of mild weather have diminished our tolerance and the effects of each cold spell are magnified.

Of course, our impatience also augments the chill of early spring. We anticipate the warm, fragrant, colorful days of April and May and the month of March represents an unwelcome barrier. Inclined to rush toward our seasonal rewards, we tend to overlook the subtle wonders of nature's year.