March: In like a Lion, out like a Lamb…

If you’ve heard this proverb before, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Growing up in central PA this held true as far as I can remember, there was always some sort of snow storm or wintry mix the first week or two of March (coming in like a lion), then slowly it would become spring through the rest of the month (going out like a lamb). So why the shift now, especially in Washington, D.C. where Edvotek is located?

What is the history of this saying?

This saying dates back to the 1700’s, in Thomas Fullers’ book compiling many witty sentiments of the same tone. But in addition to that, this animal simile could also be linked to astrology! The lion, corresponding to Leo, and the lamb corresponding to Aries. Maybe people were looking to the sky for answers on why the beginning of March was so frigid, while the end was nice and warm and temperate?

Image: The New Yorker

But what about the weather forecast for early March in D.C.?

A quick Google search for the March 2023 forecast predicts an average temperature of 50ºF every day… I would say March sounds like one big lamb right now! And hey, maybe I’m jinxing it (because there is a looming chance for a polar vortex), but it hasn’t been the worst thing to not shovel!

This isn’t the first year we’ve had an unseasonably warm winter in Washington, D.C.- the Washington Post wrote an article about how we’re on track to have one of the 5 warmest winters in history. In 1997-1998 there was only 0.1 inches of snowfall in D.C., while this year we have had a total of 0.4 inches of snow. Although we have had a nice and calm winter doesn’t mean other parts of the country had it this easy! States like North Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan and South Dakota consistently have some of the worst winters in America. Even for this year they were still ranked in the top 4 for worst winters, so I am feeling a little lucky to be in a location that is dodging that title!

Image source: SciJinks

The science of predicting weather

Give your local meteorologist a break! It is tough to get the predictions down to a “T”, especially with warming climates, rapid changes in forecasts, and natural disasters looming around corners. Weather models, a computer based program, helps meteorologists predict the weather, but according to NOAA, the chances of it being right when the forecast is longer than 10-days is only about 50%… If only we could predict the future with 100% accuracy! A lot of this is based on the data scientists receive from satellites, coupled with statistical analysis of previous weather trends. Which is why sometimes the forecast can go wrong, and I’m never upset when it doesn’t go as predicted- especially when the weather ends up better than the prediction!

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