Mitten Days In April

April 03, 1992|By David Michael Ettlin | David Michael Ettlin,Staff Writer

It was possible in the Baltimore area yesterday to gaze at blooming daffodils, sneeze at tree pollen, anticipate baseball in a spanking new sports palace and catch snowflakes with your tongue.

Winter, it seems, just won't go away.

The snow, which melted and evaporated in most areas on contact with the warm ground, was produced by unseasonably cold upper air -- "just one of those things that happen on occasion during springtime," said National Weather Service meteorologist Amet Figueroa.

In the mountains in far Western Maryland, "one of those things" accumulated to a depth of 4 to 5 inches and was still falling late in the day.

April snow, while a rarity for Baltimore, has in the past coincided with the baseball rites of spring -- delaying, for example, the season opener April 8, 1985, with a five-minute, first-inning squall. The latest dustings on record are a trace of snow May 1, 1963, at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, and a trace at Baltimore's Custom House May 9, 1923.

But could it happen today, at the trial-run exhibition debut of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, or at Monday's official season opener between the Birds and the Cleveland Indians, with President Bush throwing out the first ball -- a snowball?


Mr. Figueroa said fans today can expect partly cloudy skies, a westerly breeze and temperatures near 50 at the 3:05 p.m. start of the Orioles-New York Mets exhibition game.

On Monday the outlook is for sunshine and temperatures near 60.

There is one other Orioles game scheduled, though -- tomorrow's exhibition finale against the Boston Red Sox in Washington's RFK Stadium.

Mr. Figueroa, a baseball fan since he was 7, sounded almost apologetic: "Saturday it goes in the pot again, as another weather system moves through, with a chance of snow changing to rain as temperatures climb from the 30s to the low or middle 40s, and windy."

And Washington hasn't had much luck when it comes to baseball.

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