At last, it feels like spring

April 16, 1993|By Frank D. Roylance | Frank D. Roylance,Staff Writer

Reality check, please.

We're nearly four weeks into spring, and the National Weather Service puts a bulletin on the weather wire yesterday with this startling news: "Shortly after noon EDT the temperature at Baltimore Washington International Airport reached 70 degrees."

Then the same weather guys observe that it hasn't been this warm since . . . New Year's Eve?

What planet are we on here?

Not that anyone was complaining. It was a tops-down, doors-open, coats-off kind of afternoon. The high reached 75 degrees at the airport just after 3:30 p.m. and 74 degrees downtown. Ice cream cones were spotted in Lutherville, and this year's agonizingly slow crawl toward nicer weather was almost forgotten.

But this has been one odd year.

"This is only the fifth time we have not had a 70-degree reading before April 1," said forecaster Ken Shaver, who checked back through 42 years of record books at BWI to make sure.

It was also the latest date for a 70-degree reading since 1958, when Marylanders had to wait until April 14.

The last time we had to wait until April for 70-plus weather, he said, was way back in . . . 1992. Last year, remember? In 1982, the first 70-degree day arrived April 1, and in 1969 it was April 2.

So, whatever happened to global warming?

"That's what I was wondering," Mr. Shaver said. "Somebody's going to have to come up with a new twist.

"Usually by this time we'll get a couple of days at least with winds out of the west or southwest," he said, which bring warm air.

The forecast for today again called for highs in the low 70s, with a chance of showers and thunderstorms during the afternoon. Then, "it looks like it's going to be back on the cool side," Mr. Shaver said.

A passing cold front will keep daytime highs in the 60s over the weekend and in the high 50s on Monday, with lows in the 30s.

The six- to 10-day forecast calls for more below-normal &r temperatures and above-normal precipitation.

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