Thursday, March 5, 2009

"Hope Springs Eternal..."
- Alexander Pope, 18th century English poet, in the 1734 An Essay on Man

LOOKING AHEAD: SUN MARCH 8 - 5:45 PM. A welcome respite from below normal temperatures ends at mid-week, when the weekend pre-Spring warmup gives way to 60's and 50's by Wednesday. While Spring-a-lings have Hope Eternal that the Snow Queen is vanquished, by next Thursday Luck o' the Irish could turn for Powderhounds woofing to see one more "White in the Winter night."
Climate data shows that March mischief can be just as crippling as early December or mid-February. Case in point: The March 1962 Ash Wednesday Storm, as discussed on Frank Roylance's Baltimore Sun Weather Blog. Signs that something is brewing between the 13th and 16th are already popping like crocuses among the GFS and European models. Even the Climate Prediction Center in Camp Springs is weighing in on the potential. For a detailed perspective on this potential, review meteorologist Larry Cosgrove's 3-part report from the Houston Examiner. My specifics on long range pattern indicators are forthcoming over the weekend. If this photo from a global warming protest rally held by Snowmen is any indication of what's lurking, then we are in trouble. Note: If your server blocks the image below, it can be viewed at the Washington Post's Capital Weather site.

Snowman Rally

For now, I suggest you make plans to go out and play! A daytime escape to resplendent Longwood Gardens perhaps? Maybe you'd prefer to revel in Spring locally at Irvine Nature Center, or see what's bubbling up at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens? Just go while you still can - for the Ides of March are upon us. :::Insert foreboding doomer music here!:::

STORYTIME: WED MARCH 4 - 9:45 AM. In Tuesday's belated celebration of Read Across America Day, observed each year on the birthday of one Theodor Seuss Geisel, some hard-working elementary school teacher no doubt read "The Cat In The Hat Comes Back."
The story captures a daytime tale of two elementary school-aged children, a brother and sister, at home following a heavy snowfall. They have stern instructions from their Mother to clear the sidewalks, "this was no time for play or fun, there was work to be done." Sure enough, "the Cat" returns to unleash another unwelcome barrage of disruption to the family's personal effects. In a valiant effort to clean up the interior evidence, the Cat and his little cat minions from A to Y inadvertently discolor the surrounding snowfall to a deep cotton candy pink. At this point, Mom is probably just getting off the beltway to arrive home shortly. Her children are understandably in a dither. The saving grace is an impossibly invisible "little Cat Z" who possesses a magic formula-potion-chemical something called "VOOM!" This peculiarly effective substance instantly cleans all the pinkified snow.. as well as renders clear the sidewalks and driveway, right before Mom returns. "And so," says the Cat, "if you ever have spots, now and then, I will be very happy to come here again."
The moral of this story as it pertains to us? Perhaps our late week warmup will be just the VOOM! you need to clean up all the snow and ice, because if you're among those with "Hope Springs Eternal"...I must warn you now: The Cat In The Hat IS Coming Back. This time, he may not have enough VOOM! to clean up what could happen. The following date I release every year, just so you're aware of WHAT the Cat MIGHT bring BACK: MARCH 19-21, 1958. If you need clarification, perhaps our seasoned powderhounds can relate a tale or two.

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