Brighter — and per­haps warmer — days ahead

The Washington Post Sunday - - LOCAL OPINIONS - BY MARTIN WEIL martin.weil@wash­post.com

On Satur­day, which was the 77th day of 2017, it was pos­si­ble to sense that win­ter, as we had known it this year, was on the verge of ced­ing the city to spring.

Satur­day was Washington’s first warmer-than-nor­mal day in a week. The high tem­per­a­ture of 59 de­grees was warmer than any day in Washington since March 10, when it was 60.

Satur­day was a marked de­par­ture from last week, which could, with lit­tle ex­ag­ger­a­tion, be called harsh. On Thurs­day, for ex­am­ple, Washington was pro­vided with a vivid ex­am­ple of win­ter’s po­ten­tial to be un­pleas­ant.

At Rea­gan Na­tional Air­port on Thurs­day, the mer­cury could climb no higher than 33 de­grees, just one above freez­ing.

Mean­while, winds reached 35 mph at Na­tional, with at least one gust of 47. Snow and ice that had fallen ear­lier in the week re­mained on the streets Thurs­day, en­hanc­ing the win­try feel.

More snow fell at Rea­gan Na­tional Air­port over two days last week than was mea­sured all sea­son un­til then.

It is true, of course, that none of the amounts was par­tic­u­larly large. March 13 brought 1.1 inches of snow, and the next day’s fig­ure was 0.9, for a to­tal of 2 inches.

In many years that would be triv­ial. But un­til then, the fig­ure for the sea­son was 1.4 inches, so lit­tle that many of us hap­pily claimed to have had none at all.

Fore­casts do not sug­gest that from now on all will be blue skies and warm weather. But none of the pre­dic­tions seem to sug­gest that last week’s con­di­tions will soon be seen again.

And on Monday, the spring equinox will oc­cur at 6:29 a.m. For many weeks there­after, there will be more hours of day­light than of dark­ness, and the power of the sun will grow in­ex­orably in our lives.

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