Spring outlook

Accu-Weather just released its belated spring outlook, and ... oh ... you say, you thought it was spring already.

Actually, the equinox still is 12 days away, but the meteorological spring began March 1, and it's not quite clear why the "outlook" wasn't issued until March 8.

In any event, meteorologically, spring is already cooking. As Accu-Weather's Jack Boston said, "We are literally a month ahead of time."

That's in terms of both temperature and severe weather, and Accu-Weather sees both those trends continuing for awhile.

Things may cool down in April and May, but for now expect a continuation of the warmth that settled over the region, and much of the nation, starting in December.

Temperatures should rocket into the 70s today, and before the month ends expect more warmth where that came from, according to Accu-Weather Inc., and Commodity Weather Group, in Washington.

By the time the end of May, however, Accu-Weather believes that temperatures will have averaged just a touch above normal.

As for the severe storm-tornado season, Boston described last week's severe outbreak as "unprecedented" for so early in March.

Here's a recap from the Louisville, Ky., National Weather Service office.

With the Gulf of Mexico quite warm, bathing tornado-prone regions in moisture, and a favorable upper-air pattern, he anticipates more trouble.

"I see no reason that we are not set up for this to happen a number of times, at least into April," said Boston.

Another forecasting service, WSI Corp., in New England, has called for a cooler than normal spring in the Northeast.

That outlook was issued on Feb. 21, and it predicted a cool March in the Northeast, a forecast that right now looks to be in deep trouble.

You may have noticed that overall this hasn't been the greatest of times for long-range forecasters.

Who foresaw that this would be the fourth-warmest winter on record here and across the country? Boston acknowledged that Accu-Weather's was "less than stellar."

Nevertheless, they keep trying, and seasons they go 'round and 'round.