(SOUTHERN COLORADO) — We’re saying “goodbye” to winter and “hello” to spring, but it may not be the exact time of season you were thinking about.
Typically, we think of Spring as starting around March 20 or March 21. But meteorologists use a different starting date for spring for climate record purposes.
March, April and May fall in what is known as ‘Meteorological Spring’ and that date is March 1.
The reason meteorologists have a separate starting date for the season is for a more consistent method of defining the seasons as it helps with record-keeping.
We break each season up equally:
Meteorological Winter: Dec. 1 to Feb. 28 – The coldest three months of the year.
Meteorological Spring: March 1 to May 31 – The steady three-month transition from cold to warm.
Meteorological Summer: June 1 to August 31 – The warmest three months of the year.
Meteorological Fall: September 1 to November 30 – The steady, three-month transition from warm to cold.
The definitions of meteorological seasons are simpler, more consistent, and define the calendar year more logically on the basis of temperature. They also help compare year-to-year weather with the dates always staying the same.
The reason we think of Spring as starting in the middle of March is because it technically does – astronomically speaking.
Spring begins the vernal equinox, which is the point in the earth’s orbit when the sun is directly over the equator on its journey higher in the northern hemisphere sky.
Each year, the vernal equinox falls somewhere between March 19 and March 21, and it can be different from year to year. This year in Colorado, spring of 2023 will start March 20 at 3:24 P.M. MST.
It’s not just Spring, but the beginning and end of astronomical seasons vary from year to year making them inconsistent from a record-keeping standpoint. That’s why meteorological seasons are more beneficial in keeping weather records more streamlined.
With the start of this meteorological Spring, what can we expect from the weather in the next few months in Southern Colorado?
Typically, in the next few months, temperatures start to warm across Colorado Springs each week. From an average high in the low-50s to mid-70s by the middle of May.
As for moisture, March is the snowiest month in Colorado Springs on average with over five and a half inches of snow. Pueblo usually gets four and a half inches of snow throughout the month.
As we look ahead with the NOAA Climate Prediction Center (CPC) outlooks, Meteorological Spring is mainly trending on the warmer-than-average side. But half of the state falls in the ‘equal’ chances area of warmer, colder or average temperatures through the next few months.
Most of Colorado falls in the ‘below average’ category for moisture. Meaning models are showing the next three months to be on the drier side.
Of course, these outlooks are a broad look at March, April and May, and our weather could change.
Make sure to stay with the FOX21 Storm Team through the next several months as we keep you updated on what this Meteorological Spring will bring.