Goshen News, Goshen, IN

March 20, 2014

SEASONAL DISORDER: As spring starts, winter won't quit

Even as spring officially starts, winter won't quit, Hoosiers say

By SAM HOUSEHOLDER sam.householder@goshennews.com
Goshen News

---- — Hope springs eternal, and that is especially true for local people waiting on the arrival of spring, which officially begins today.

Jim Truber, of Shipshewana, was taking a smoke break along Main Street Wednesday as he pondered when spring would arrive.

“July,” he said with a laugh.

“It’s been a rough winter, it’s been very rough, but I think we’re starting to see the signs (of spring), I’m seeing a few buds popping out, a few birds out, that’s all good signs,” he said.

Stacy Dechnik, of Goshen stopped to think about the question as she adjusted the hood on her overstuffed winter coat on Washington Street.

“No, I think we have a couple weeks, maybe a month,” she said. Dechnik said that living in the Midwest all her life she is used to the back-and-forth nature of the winter-to-spring transition.

“It always does this, it gets warm and we get excited and then it snows again. I mean it’s not fun, I always think everyone always gets a little bummed out, we get excited but it’s always expected, it happens every year.”

Will Higgins, of Indianapolis, said he won’t feel like its spring until he can take out his motorcycle again.

“It’s getting there, this is better than it was two weeks ago, but with the snow still piled along the roadway it doesn’t feel like spring yet,” he said.

Ted Wilson, of Wakarusa, a bird watcher, said he is finally beginning to see the signs of spring.

“I’ve been watching the birds in my backyard and the cardinals are singing their mating song so that’s the first sign,” he said. “I’m seeing the birds pairing up so it’s coming.”

“The sun is coming up earlier and going down later and the Earth is warming so spring is coming,” he said.

For Michelle Pemberton, of Indianapolis, though “soon” close enough.

“Not soon enough, I’m hoping in the next month it will warm up so I can get out of the house and get on my motorcycle and actually be able to do some outside activities,” she said, shivering as she stood near the Elkhart County Courthouse.

“I feel like I’ve been cold for six months,” she said.

However, for Wilma Harder of Goshen, the rough winter has been enjoyable because she grew up in Minnesota.

“I love this winter, I grew up in Minnesota and I finally feel like we had a real winter and I went walking everyday no matter how cold it was,” she said. “I guess I’m ready for spring, but I’m not anxious, I’m not champing at the bit.”

After a winter full of heavy snowfall and bitterly cold temperatures any sign of spring is met with excitement and anticipation.

Hanging on

Spring officially starts at 12:57 p.m. EDT today.

According to meteorologist Nick Greenawalt with the National Weather Service out of North Webster, spring starts annually between March 20 and 22. The variance has to do with the vernal equinox.

While the calendar says its spring, the weather isn’t cooperating.

Arctic blasts out of Canada continue to provides days of well-below normal temperatures mixed with a couple of days of closer to normal temperatures.

And just because it’s spring doesn’t mean that is likely to change.

“What our weather monitor is showing is that pattern will continue,” said of the cold streaks. “We’re going to stay in that pattern for the next couple of weeks. “

He said that into early next week there may be a few days where temperatures won’t’ get above freezing.

According to Greenawalt, even though arctic air will continue to spill into the Midwest, the temperatures won’t be as severe as they were in January and February because days are longer and that cold air isn’t able to sustain itself as it moves further south.

But the cold air is still providing the Midwest with days where the temperature is 15 to 20 degrees below normal.

Flood warning

The National Weather Service in North Indiana issued a flood warning for the north branch of the Elkhart River at Cosperville affecting Elkhart and Noble counties. Recent snowmelt has caused minor flooding along area rivers.

The warning is in effect until 8 p.m. tonight.