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

BOSTON (CBS) -Enough is enough. For the past eight weeks or so (starting around Jan. 23) we have experienced the harshest New England winter stretch ever recorded in our long and weathered history. This is not an exaggeration. Records haven’t just been challenged, they have been smashed, obliterated. We all deserve and NEED a break.

After the snowiest and coldest February ever recorded, March came in like a polar bear and looks to be going out the same way.

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In fact, as of this writing, our average temperature this March is 31.8 degrees.

(WBZ-TV graphic)

(WBZ-TV graphic)

This ties us with 1984 as the coldest March on record since they started taking readings at Logan Airport in 1936. A few relatively “mild” days later this week will likely prevent us from holding onto the number 1 spot, but either way March 2015 will go down as one of the coldest ever recorded.

And, likely something you don’t want to hear, this weather pattern isn’t going anywhere fast. As my colleague Barry Burbank writes in his blog from today, the atmospheric conditions responsible for all this record breaking cold and snow will likely remain for many more months! Of course, as the sun gets higher in the sky, spring and summer WILL arrive, temperatures WILL get warmer.

BUT, overall, the next several months have a much greater chance of being below normal than above in the temperature department. . . this will likely be the case into this summer and perhaps into next winter as well. . . yikes.

Regardless, let me assure you that summer is still going to come. There will be beach days. There will be plenty of time for golfing, fishing, grilling and all the other fun stuff that we love New England for. Might there be fewer 90 degree days? Maybe. Might our heatwaves be a bit shorter? Perhaps. But it is time to look on the bright side. My goal for the remainder of this blog is to attempt to convince you that your glass is indeed half full.

First things first, we actually hit an important milestone Today. For the first time since Sept. 11 of last year (more than 200 days) our sun will be setting at 7 p.m! For many of you that means driving home in sunlight, which I can say from experience makes a BIG difference. Looking forward to an 8 p.m. sunset? The first one will be on May 16, less than two months away.

(WBZ-TV graphic)

(WBZ-TV graphic)

Happy yet? Let’s keep going.

More warm milestones to look forward to…

Believe it or not, our average high temperature today should be 49 degrees. And by the end of this week, on March 28, our average will reach 50. Granted, this year has been anything but average so far, but it should bring some comfort to know that all we need to do is get back to “normal” and it will feel real good.

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(WBZ-TV graphic)

(WBZ-TV graphic)

And with each month going forward it only gets better and better.

We start averaging 60 degrees for a high on April 27th. A little less than a month later on May 26, our average high will reach 70. And by June 29 we will average 80, something nearly unthinkable at this point.

Right now we are averaging about 5 degrees below normal in March. If that is a BIG deal, do you think you will mind if we average 5 degrees below normal in June or July? Will you even notice? I doubt it.

Feeling better yet? OK, one more try…

(WBZ-TV graphic)

(WBZ-TV graphic)

Picture this: You are basking in the warm sun, looking out over a field of green, a Fenway Frank in one hand and a cold beverage in the other. This could be you three weeks from today! While I cannot promise the “warm sun” thing or for that matter a comfortable seat, our beloved Red Sox will play their first of 81 games at Fenway Park on April 13.

Just four short weeks from today, those dirty, ugly piles of snow on the sidewalks will be replaced with thousands of cheering spectators during the Boston Marathon!

Shortly after that, you will be able to get into your gardens and perhaps even start up the lawnmower for the first time! May sound strange but I would do almost anything to mow my lawn right now. On average, the last freeze in the suburbs comes around May 10. Given the way things have been going, I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if it came a few days later this year, but the point is, our time will come!

Can I promise you that you won’t see another flake fall this year? No. Nor can I promise that there won’t be any more bitter cold, winter-jacket-wearing days. But, Old Man Winter’s days are numbered. I have a feeling that after this historic winter, we are all going to appreciate spring and summer just a bit more this year. The flowers will be a bit more fragrant, the beach sand a bit softer, heck, I might even be more tolerant of a mosquito or two.

Mother Nature, we tip our hats to you, that was one heck of a winter. Now it’s our turn. Cheers New England, here’s to a long summer.

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Follow Terry on Twitter @TerryWBZ