Today was a really weird day for weather. We had sunshine one hour, light gray overcast with snow the next, and it alternated back and forth constantly. That’s lake effect for you, but it’s “spring” lake effect so the snowflakes were mostly small and weren’t in the mood to stick. Spring gets sarcasto-quotes because we don’t get spring in March in Syracuse. The vernal equinox may be behind us, but it’s not fooling anybody.
Yet I was thrilled to notice that after a couple more days of this crap, temps should be on the rise for a while. Even better, for next Monday they’re saying we can expect a high of 64°! The exclamation point pretty much sums up my reaction.
This comes with a few caveats, naturally. Syracuse’s forecast horizon is three days under average conditions, and in spring it’s much lower. The day in question also comes with a significant chance of precipitation, and all weekend before it is supposed to be in the 40s so there’s really no viable excuse to trot out the grill.
But what’s encouraging to me is this notion of temps getting up high enough before the month is out, but not so soon that it represents a serious aberration. Given that our winter has been not too cold or warm, not too snowy or light, more or less right on target, I’m holding out hope that we’re on track for a good and proper Zoo Day.
Zoo Day comes in the second week of April, when there are one or more nice days in a row where the temperature hits 70 or above, and it’s sunny. Basically, the very first really nice weather of spring. This has about a 50-50 chance of happening in any given year; for Syracuse, that counts as a consistent pattern. It’s entirely possible for the Zoo Day to hit late. In about the worst case scenario, that doesn’t come till mid-May, and I go mildly insane during the few weeks leading up to it. As I’ve mentioned before, this day also comes with some other ground rules: In particular it has to be on a weekday, so you can really appreciate taking the day off to go.
Basically Zoo Day satiates the spring madness in a way nothing else can. It doesn’t matter if the trees don’t have leaves yet—which they mostly will not, unless it’s late. It’s about getting out there and enjoying a nice day away from all other problems, as soon as it’s remotely feasible to do so. It’s like a mini-vacation.
So naturally I’m psyched to see the 31st forecast for 64°. That means there’s time for one last really cold snap, then the nice weather can hit during the second week of April, to be followed by the inevitable few weeks of depressing gray rain. When the rain comes first it’s excruciating.