The March of Winter

March may be the first calendar month of spring but winter still grips most of the U.S.  Here in northeastern Ohio, the latest bout of snow began last night and is expected to persist through this evening.  While the afternoon high may reach the mid thirties (F) today, teens and twenties are forecast for the remainder of the week.

Indeed, it has been a long, brutal winter for most of the eastern U.S., especially across New England.  Today, a cold front lies across the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic region; a low pressure center, currently over western Kentucky, is sweeping moisture above the cold air, producing snow from southeastern Missouri to northwestern Pennsylvania.  As the low drifts eastward so will the snow, bringing yet another round of frozen precipitation for the Northeastern States.

On the positive side, this copious moisture will feed streams and wetlands; though flooding will surely develop across the lowlands, the watery landscape will provide nutritious feeding grounds for migrant waterfowl, waders and shorebirds as they move north through early May.  Once the soil begins to thaw, the moisture will also ignite the leafing and flowering of plants which, in turn, will provide fuel for nature's vibrant web of life.  Winter may be reluctant to leave but spring is now in sight.