March 30 the temperature at our home on the side of the mountain only managed to make it to 37F. This last day of March we got to 40F. Areas to the west and north of here might get snow on Friday, April 1.
On top of the cold, it has rained and misted just enough to be miserable. I sometimes have a hard time adjusting to the temperature here in the mountains after being down on the Southern Outer Banks of the North Carolina coast. Last week there we had a few days in the upper eighties. It was warm enough to go fishing, beach hiking, and kayaking.
My uniform was shorts, tee-shirt, and crocs.
Then it cooled off. Even the area waters which had warmed to almost seventy degrees dropped back into the fifties. We even had an early morning frost. Still the fifties are pretty nice when compared to the thirties.
I have seen enough springs to know that it can get even worse here in the mountains. On April 7, 2007, we got enough snow on the mountain to cover our grass. In April 2008, the Roanoke Valley was very glad to get some moisture and cool temperatures after a very dry winter. That's not too different from this year when Roanoke was exceptionally dry until recently. I even watered some our new bushes in late winter because I was worried about the soil being too dry if a warm spell showed up.
When Monday, April 4, rolls around the temperature in Roanoke is supposed to hit 79F. Spring will explode as it has in past years.
In April 2008, I wrote a post called The Pleasures of the South. I made the assertion that spring really belongs to the South. The longer I live here, the more that I think that I am right on that point.
Our drive to Roanoke late in March from our home on the Crystal Coast was a beautiful drive through spring. There were clear blue skies and bright green fields of winter wheat already over twelve inches high. We saw everything from dogwoods, red buds, wisteria, tulips, and forsythia to the damp daffodils in our Roanoke front yard. They were all signs of spring about to have its day.
We talked to friends tonight who live north of Fredericton, NB. Their maple sugaring is on hold. First all the sap froze in the buckets last weekend, and now they have another major snowstorm on the way this weekend. Even places as far south as some of the suburbs of Boston and western Pennsylvania are getting late March and early April snow.
While the weather at the coast in the spring can throw just about anything at you and be almost as variable as mountain weather, we at least don't have to worry about snow. We also get to call the fifties cold, and things can start growing really fast. I had tomato plants blooming on the coast by April 9 in 2009.
Like everyone on the east coast, I am ready for spring. I also confident I will be enjoying some nice temperatures the first weeks of April. I don't see anything worse than upper sixties for a while on the coast. That's perfect weather, and if the rains have cleared the pine pollen from the air, we will be able to sleep with the windows open. I just hope that late frost didn't hurt the strawberries which were blooming at the time.