By Tom Crawfordtcrawford@abcnews4.com
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - OK, I know you're tired of the cold weather and the up and down of normal highs. Well Mother Nature is about to spring something on you. Yes, it's spring - the long-awaited warmer temperatures that will be heading into the country with summer right behind.
So when does spring officially start? In the Northern Hemisphere on the East Coast, the time will be 7:02 a.m. on Wednesday, March 20. The spring equinox falls at a much later hour on March 19 in the Mountain, Pacific and Alaska Time zones.
The spring equinox means that there will be equal hours of daylight and equal hours of darkness. The sun will be at the equatorial plane. Also, the sun will be at the midpoint in the sky. As we progress beyond March 20, we'll notice that the daylight hours will continue to increase until we have the summer solstice.
The summer solstice will be when the degree of the earth's tilt 23.4 degree's north, will have the sun's rays directly over the earth in the northern hemisphere.
With more sunshine bearing down on a more direct angle, we'll see our temperatures begin to take a run on the high side. Normal high for the month of March is 69.9 degrees. As we move into April, 72 degrees is the normal high.
And as we move ahead to July, we feel that sizzling 88 for the normal high.
As we move into the spring months we can expect the colder air masses being replaced by warmer air masses. These two air masses have a history of fighting over whose ground or real estate they own. The warmer air mass will take control of all of the real estate is a short period of time.
Thunderstorms along with gusty winds will occur as cold fronts make their way into much of the country. Stronger thunderstorms will be in the mid section of the country around tornado alley. Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma are the state that most of us think as tornado alley. But as spring moves into gear, those states between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains are most venerable to severe thunderstorms that may produce tornadoes.
So, as we have turned the clocks forward, started to see the pollen all over the cars and have given thought to cranking up the lawn mower, just remember summer is not far behind.
Enjoy the spring time temperatures.