This morning I learned from WRAL Website that today is the start of “meteorological” spring. “The term is supposed to signify a noticeable change in the weather as the harshest 90 days of winter come to an end,” says the site.
I say this after watching the forecast for this week — especially for Saturday — grow colder by the day. At the beginning of the week the day was expected to start around freezing and make it into the low 50s. Today, we’re still looking at a freezing start, but the high is only supposed to hit 47. And there is mention of snow flurries. I don’t thing that’s the direction of change the good scientists who came up with the term meant.
I’m especially disappointed in this, the advent of meteorological spring because tomorrow is the Umstead Marathon, and last I looked my name was among the 250 race entrants. While cool weather trumps hot for running a marathon one truism of aging I’ve learned is that there’s a disproportionate relationship between cooler temperatures and the time it takes to rev your body up. That is, at 40 degrees, it takes a 30-year-old five minutes to warm up, a 56-year-old (moi) 10 minutes. At 30 degrees, it takes the 30-year-old (still running in shorts and a T-shirt, by the way), maybe six minutes; me, it will take most of the morning.
True, you may note, It’s a marathon — you’ve got 26.1 miles to warm up. You’ve got all day, ha ha!
Technically, no. There’s a cut off — I only have 6 hours.
My point: tomorrow’s weather may be good for a lot of things, I’m just not sure a marathon is one of them. But I’ll get back to you on that.
So what is this weekend’s weather good for? Two things:
- Hiking. Cool temps — and who knows how much longer they’ll last — are ideal for a walk in the woods. Find out about good hikes near you through our collaboration with the Great Outdoor Provision Co. The basics here, more in-depth descriptions here.
- Skiing. “You’ll see awesome conditions no matter where you go this weekend,” advises SkiSoutheast.com. A one-two punch of natural snow (up to seven inches have fallen in the high country in the past 72 hours) and continued cold temperatures ideal for snowmaking make for a great first meteorological spring weekend on the slopes.
- Cross-country skiing. With at least a half foot of snow, some of the high-country’s higher trails may be open. Check out our x-country guide here.
Remember, the weather is always good for something outdoors.
And for the record, calendar spring beings March 20. Hopefully we’ll see a noticeable change by then.