Friday, April 5, 2013

Winter one day, spring the next

As expected, our weather is making an abrupt shift from winter to spring.

Sometimes there's a period of a week or two for a transition between the two seasons. This year, the transition amounts to a single day -- today.

The storm system that brought rain and unseasonably cold temperatures to the Charlotte region Thursday produced accumulating snow in Virginia and enough sleet to cause road problems in North Carolina's mountains.

Temperatures hovered in the upper 30s for most of the afternoon Thursday, but the change was noticeable Friday. By mid-afternoon, it had reached 60 degrees in Charlotte. And that's just the start. Take a look at forecast highs in coming days:

Saturday ... 65

Sunday ... 70

Monday ... 74

Tuesday ... 77

I'm not saying that we won't have a chilly day before the real heat arrives sometime in May. The pattern in the eastern United States in April and early May will have cold air pocketed in the northern part of the country much of the time. It's conceivable that a renegade cold front could drop south into our region for a day or so.

But it appears, for the most part, that temperatures will remain mild from this point on.  There even could be some 80-degree days during the week of April 15.

We've just come through the coldest March in a decade, and it's about time for some nicer weather.