By Terry Eliasen, Meteorologist, WBZ-TV Exec. Weather Producer

BOSTON (CBS) – Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

We are in for a record shattering day in all of New England today.

It is almost becoming the “norm” –  shorts and tank tops, skipping work for the beach, outdoor lunch breaks.  It’s hard to believe it is still only March. I think we have truly forgotten what “normal” really is.

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So let me remind you.

March in New England is nothing like this.

We average more than eight inches of snow in March.  Temperatures are supposed to be in the 40s by day and 20s/30s at night.

Temperatures are SUPPOSED to dip below freezing nearly every morning.

You SHOULD have to turn the heat on at night AND you normally actually have to wear a winter jacket in the morning AND scrape some ice off the windshield!

Reality check – things are NOT as they should be this year.

Today is a perfect example.

The low temperature in Boston this morning was 56 degrees.

That would be slightly above normal if it were the high for today!

This afternoon Boston will top off in the low to mid 80’s, again just about normal, if today were July 22nd instead of March 22nd!

The record high for today: 72 degrees, we should eclipse that by lunchtime and shatter it by at least 10 degrees by late afternoon, like it was a misprint in the record books.

We have only reached 80 degrees in March a handful of times in recorded history and nearly all of them have occurred in the last few days of the month.

Now 80 seems like a routine day in many suburbs.

Another amazing stat: Boston hasn’t dipped below freezing since March 11th!

Makes sense that many folks are raking up their gardens and thinking of planting early this year right?

Don’t do it!

Before you do something stupid like planting your tomatoes in March, break out the photo album and flip to March 1997.

Take a look at the 25.4 inches of snow that fell at the end of the month.

Or just think back to last year when we got accumulating snow on April 1st.

You are still in New England, the world as you know it has not changed.

Take a look at this image from NCEP depicting temperatures for March 2012 across the globe.

This, to me is the most telling graphic of any I have seen and the best reminder that we have been in Mother Nature’s “sweet spot” for the last several months.

While the rest of the Northern Hemisphere has been dealing with bouts of tremendous cold and snow, the United States has completely forgotten about and written off winter as a thing of the past.

Sooner or later we will get our share, whether it will come in the form of a spring snow or perhaps a cool El Nino summer, rest assured it will come!

In the short term, we are headed back to reality, albeit gradually.

After today, high temperatures will drop about 10 degrees a day through Sunday.

By Tuesday morning of next week a widespread frost is likely in all the suburbs.

Shocking I know, but remember it is “normal” for this time of year.

You can follow Terry on Twitter at @TerryWBZ.

Comments (7)
  1. David White says:

    Thanks Terry:

    Sooner or later the pattern has to flip flop from present trough in the west/ridge in the east to ridge in the west/trough in the east. I suppose this could happen when ENSO becomes more neutral to weak El Nino as projected for late spring and summer. The other combo that would do the trick would be a persistent positive PNA/negative AO and NAO, and we haven’t had that recently, but it seems like we might be due for this? I saw a reference on Accuweather website, by Henry Margusity that there might be a “correlation between the Pacific Ocean’s temp anomalies and the debris field from the tsunami that hit Japan last March.” Apparently this may have caused a pool of unusually warm water in the North Pacific. A place for storms to be born. We shall see!

  2. ODOYLE RULES says:

    Last winter wasn’t “normal” either… Deal with it.

  3. Dan says:

    Why do TV meteorologists insist on abusing the term ‘normal’ constantly, even though I am certain many of them know better? I realize ‘this isn’t within two standard deviations of the mean’ isn’t as attractive of a headline, but really… The ‘get our share’ really went too far. You should bring in one of your statistics professors as a guest commentator sometime…

  4. Dan says:

    I also thought it was interesting looking at the map and seeing the big cold spot over Australia. Read an article here about how it’s been cooler than average in Australia…

  5. kelther4 says:

    Terry- you are a real buzzkiller, aren’t you? Are you the guy at social gatherings that talks about war, pestilence, famine or maybe the bird flu!!?
    Yeah, we know this isn’t normal, but enough with the historical snowfalls from years past. Of course it’s possible here but do you really believe, in your gut, that the pattern will suddenly shift to something extremely “polar” opposite to the trend we’ve been experiencing, i.e., milder than normal? come’on man….I for one will not put away all my winter gear until this time next month but I really don’t believe we’re in for a storm like April Fool’s ’97 either. Nobody knows what we have in store for us this summer or fall. You can suspect that things will balance somewhere, as this region’s averages are merely the balanced extremes that we often experience each year and season….maybe ‘BZ met team should get the 7 day correct first before further prognosticating on the climate in coming seasons…..

  6. Terry says:

    Great stuff David, fascinating take on the Pacific and Tsunami effects!

    Kelther- we had 80 on the 7day for today and yesterday starting last week, not bad I would say…

    1. David White says:

      Thanks Terry, and yes the prediction of 80 for today and yesterday seven days ago indeed verified. In 2007 March was very warm here, but the pattern flip flopped in April and we had a cool spell. In fact that year summer was not all that hot.

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