Every Spring

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28 March 2011
It's the same question every March, has spring come yet? What that boils down to is usually snow fall - going back over 4 years of living in this area of Poland I can see that we usually get one snow fall after the "official" start of spring on March 21st.

Old Observations
It's actually very interesting looking back over old posts and observations, you can quickly see weather patterns emerge. It seems that we get the first real snowfall in the last ten days of November, though there is often wet and quick melting snow before. We also tend to get the last snowfalls in the final days of March, though they may settle they rarely last more than a day or two. This has proved the case even with very different winters - we had an almost complete thaw in January whilst last year the snow-blanket remained in place for three and a half months. The winters came in and out in much the same manner.

Polish Spring
I've often debated what a Polish spring is with people here, it is more of a "summer-lite" than what an Englishman would recognise as Spring, fairly long sunny days with little rain and it's quite normal for the temperatures to swing 20 to 30 degrees in as little as two weeks. There isn't as much of a gradual progression from grey to green to gold as there is in the British countryside. Summer and winter are more starkly defined and autumn and spring pale into the background in comparison. The British climate, on the other hand, tends towards spring and autumn being very long affairs with shorter periods of deep winter and high summer.

Looking...
I first got interested in following the weather and forecasting it through the Jack Mountain online forum, I did a series of observations for 30 days in May about 3 years ago. I learnt a lot and came to a lot of my own conclusions too, I also came to distrust long range forecasts as being rather inaccurate and not a lot more than wishful thinking. My skills in forecasting the weather have atrophied somewhat over winter, but that's what 3 months of low pressure and below zero temperatures will do - it's been a very grey and cloudy season.

Summer Storms
Summer proves a far greater, and more practical, challenge for your skills of weather observation as thunder storms are a regular feature here and pretty common between 5 and 8 in the evening. Spotting whether or not there's going to be one, and adjusting your plans so as to avoid being caught out, are quite important activities.
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