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

BOSTON (CBS) — It’s time. Time to remove the snow sticks from the driveway. Time to think about planting again…cold crop veggies and pansies. Time to clean up the yard and put out the patio and deck furniture. It’s springtime!

Very rarely does the official start of spring in New England ACTUALLY mean anything other than the Sun crossing the equator and heading north. But this year I feel like it means so much more. This year marks a new beginning. As vaccine efforts continue to improve and restrictions continue to loosen, never has there been a better time for a stellar spring.

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It’s funny…we dream about the arrival of springtime all winter. We have special graphics counting down the days, we celebrate every little sign from the tiniest flower bud appearing to the first sighting of birds and animals returning. What we tend to forget around here is what spring really IS in New England. Sure spring does mean the return of growing season, longer days, and the greening of our landscape. But, spring in New England can also be quite cruel. How many times can you remember seeing a temperature map in March and April (or even May) with the rest of the country basking in warmth (oranges and reds) and New England stuck in blue? Or how about one of our classic spring stretches when temperatures are stuck in the low 40s under a blanket of clouds and drizzle day after day after day…I don’t know about you but I have sat in dozens of April Red Sox games shivering under a blanket. And then there is the classic “back-door cold front”…suddenly the forecasts for the 60s turn into 40s thanks to our own private weather phenomenon. What I am describing here IS spring in New England. If I were to one day become a snowbird, my plan certainly wouldn’t be to return here in March or April (heck no!). Somewhere between Mother’s Day and Memorial Day seems like the much safer choice.

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Just look at the last 5-10 years…while our Earth warms at a record pace and seemingly every month is trending above average, it seems that spring in New England hasn’t gotten the memo. Five of the last seven April’s in Boston have had below-average temperatures AND five of the last 7 have had snowfall! May has also been chilly as of late. Three of the last four months of May in Boston have had below-average temperatures, and how could we forget the snow last May 9! It has been 8 years since we had above an average April and May back to back. Don’t get me wrong, by no means am I “wishing” global warming on our region, but I do find it fascinating that for whatever reason, our spring is lagging behind the other seasons in the warming department.

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This year looks different.

(WBZ-TV Graphic)

All indications are pointing towards a mild, above-average spring. The long-range forecasts for the next several weeks look warm. The long-range forecasts for the month of April look warm. The longer range forecasts for April-May-June look above average. Heck, the even longer-longer range forecasts for summer look above average. There are several reasons to believe these forecasts may come true, but a couple really stick out. It appears a weak La Nina will be sticking around and perhaps even make a comeback later this year…that favors warmth. The Pacific and Atlantic Oceans remain largely warmer than average, and the Oceans are a major driver in determining our weather on a larger scale.

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So I guess that was a round-about, long way of telling you that we are going to hit the ground running this spring. Sure, there will be a smattering of cloudy/raw days and “cooler coast” days, but overall this spring looks warm. I say bring it on. Let’s get outside. Let’s start living again.