Ulmer: Enduring the madness of March weather

Ulmer: Enduring the madness of March weather


Dateline - March 7

The temperature topped out somewhere around 60 above, the wind was tolerable, and it was one of those faux spring days that required a modicum of trepidatious cave immersion. The sun lured most of us outside and quite a few folks were seen gallivanting about in shorts and T-shirts.

So I couldn’t help but replace my daily trip to my gym’s treadmill with a walk around the neighborhood. The temp was still brisk and one still had to be a tad leery of iced pathways, but the warmth of the sun on my face encouraged me on.

It didn’t take long to discover that I wasn’t the only one outside enjoying the weather. I could hear a number of snow blowers or something running in the background. People were cleaning out their cars, walking their dogs, chipping ice, moving stuff they had abandoned before the first snowfall, and some folks were just standing there chatting. I was a bit taken back when I walked by one guy who was actually mowing his lawn. Ice and slush shot out of the mower chute as he plowed through small piles of snow. It seemed a bit premature to me, but some guys evidently have some kind of lawn mowingitis.

For those of you who migrated into town last September, you’ll be happy to note that you are perilously close to surviving your first winter. However, before you break your arm trying to pat your back, you should note that we locals think God invented March for teetotalers so they would appreciate the concept of a hangover.

Therefore after surviving almost 70 winters around here, I think it could be a scientific fact that the only really good thing about March is that it comes after February and ends in April. The old saying that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb disregards the excruciating psychological peaks and valleys type of PTSD that we locals have experienced during the month of March.

Snow storms one day, lawn mowing the next. Take your parka off but keep it handy, snow boots should not be put in storage yet, mittens and hats should not be left behind just tucked away. Snow removal equipment should be put out of the way but not stored as the weather in March can be quite deceptive.

Just when you think it’s safe to shed a layer of clothes, an Alberta clipper will change your mind. March is on the cusp of a change in seasons from winter to spring, which means all sorts of atmospheric struggles turn weather forecasting into a mysterious soup. Therefore it’s important to at least look out the window before deciding what your attire should be for the day.

On a good year, the transition from March to April erases the possibility of snow. Not so on a normal year because the lion has a tendency to stick around long enough to give everyone that previously mentioned hangover.

Some of us can remember blizzards in late May and snow storms in June which have left marks on our weather-related PTSD which causes we locals to loudly complain about something that we can do nothing about.

So for those of you who are new around here, I hope that you can understand why we locals seem to be a bit overwrought when it comes to complaining about our weather. It’s a sad indicator of the depth of our PTSD because we seem to look forward to complaining about the weather because it gives us something to talk about.

Here’s hoping that as you endure the madness of March, you find something more interesting to worry about. 

To rest my case, on Sunday clouds and fog moved in along with temps in the 20s and winds in the 40s. I gotta find a support group somewhere.

Dan Ulmer is a parent, grandparent, as well as a retired teacher, counselor, politician, lobbyist, public employee, nonprofit executive and opinionated citizen who believes that we need to do what we can to leave the world better off than we found it.


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