Melinda Davis is probably like everyone else. She wants some warmer weather.
"I’m trying to figure out where spring is because I’m cold," Davis said. "I’m ready for some green grass, and I’m just ready to spend some time outside in the sunshine working out in the yard."
Davis said the time is right to start planting carrots, bell peppers and cucumbers in her garden, and she’d like to be doing that work in short sleeves.
According to the calendar, spring started March 20, but residents have been waking up to frosty lawns and windshields. The daffodils were fooled into coming up because of a warm February, but March’s cold snap has them bent over and wilting.
"We can tell through our social media that people are like ‘What’s going on? Where’s spring?" said Lara Pagano, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Newport.
The normal high temperature for this time of year in the Havelock area is 68 degrees, but Monday and Tuesday high temperatures didn’t even reach 50, according to the weather service. Records show the average highs have been anywhere from 9 to 19 degrees colder than normal since March 19, when the thermometer hit a high of 70. In March so far, just six days have had above-normal temperatures, and though weekend highs predicted to be in the lower 60s will feel warmer compared to earlier in the week, those temperatures will still be below normal.
Pagano said much of the blame for the chillier spring is on the polar jet stream, which is farther south than normal for this time of year.
"When you get that polar jet to sink southward, obviously the colder air from the pole is able to sink southward into the United States, and once you get that colder air in here with a high pressure, it is really hard to get that colder air to shift out unless the polar jet starts to retreat northward," she said. "Once that polar jet retreats and we’re able to tap into a more southerly flow, we’ll be able to get warmer temperatures into the area."
But everyone wants to know when.
"Things do look like they do come around by next Monday or so," she said of when temperatures could near 70 degrees, right around normal for this time of year.
She said the Climate Prediction Center’s long-range forecast for April shows temperatures returning to normal, if not above normal. The one-month outlook calls for a 33 percent chance of above normal temperatures for the region.
"If we go by that, then we are going to finally see spring arrive — finally," she said.
Spring is normally the time of severe or violent thunderstorms, but Pagano said more factors than temperature play into that, including location of the jet stream.
"You just need the cold air to meet up with the warm air in just the right area and then you get severe weather," she said. "It’s hard to predict it right now. You have to have just the right setup. We don’t have any sort of severe weather for the next week."
According to the weather service, the next chance of rain is Sunday. Monday should be sunny with a high of 69 degrees. Can anyone say heatwave?