Happy Spring! Oh, you say that was last month

Trying to make sense out of the astronomical winter that rode into the sunset just before sunrise on Monday, at 6:29 a.m., one could conclude that nature has become seasonally challenged.

Spring has dawned over what is still a respectable snow-and-ice cover in a lot of places.

And at this writing, March has an excellent shot at ending up colder than February, when the average temperature was a record 44.2 officially in Philadelphia.

That was 8.5 degrees above normal and marked the first time since the government began keeping score in 1874 that the Philadelphia temperature reached 70 on four separate days in February.

The highs for Feb. 23-25 matched the normals for mid-May.

March started gently enough – it hit 74 on the first – but let’s just say you should be grateful you weren’t a blossom last week.

On Wednesday, the temperature didn’t get past freezing in Philly, and AAA Mid-Atlantic said it set a daily record for trouble calls on one of the coldest March 15s on record.

The longer-term outlooks were hinting at a warmup at the end of the month, but with another cold shot expected this week, March 2017 is a strong candidate to break quite a run of local warmth.

Average monthly temperatures have been above normal for nine consecutive months and for 22 of the last 23. 

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