No snow in March? Metro ready for fun in the sun

5:40 AM, Mar 29, 2010   |    comments
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SAINT PAUL, Minn. -- With 3 days left in March, folks in the metro were ready to write this month into the record books. And they had good reason. With a mild forecast on the horizon, the Twin Cities was banking on a snowless March.

That's right, a snowless March. March, typically, is one of the metro's snowiest months.

Do you remember the last time we went through this particular month on the calendar year without a drop of snow. "According to the record books, you have to go back to 1878," University of Minnesota Meteorologist/Climatologist Mark Seeley said. Seeley's job is to keep track of this kind of stuff. "Pretty remarkable," he said.

The big question is why? Seeley says El Nino and wind patterns have something to do with it. In fact, he says there are a lot of factors. "For us here in Minnesota, the storm track has carried all of the precipitation for the most part to the South of us, and you know, they've been getting plenty," Seeley explained.

It was good news for Bob Dickhaus, one of hundreds of golfers who hit the driving range at the U of M's golf course. "I put the snow blower away yesterday. I'll be playing every weekend after this," he said with a smile.

A couple miles down Larpenteur Avenue, Mark Armstead also had a smile across his face. Armstead is a manger and grower at Linder's greenhouse and garden center. "Punxsutawney Phil came out and said we have 6 more weeks of winter. We're not seeing it. It's a good sign that it might be a good season," he said as he looked around the his store, which was chalk full of customers.

Armstead said you can put pansy flowers out, but you've got to bring them in if the temperatures are expected to dip below 28 or 30 degrees overnight. He said you can start to uncover those perennials, but he warns eager green-thumbers against going too crazy.

"We tend to kind of jump the gun and get out there and do things a lot more quickly than we should, so I guess just be patient," he warned. Maybe plan, but in may cases, wait a bit to plant.

It might be tough preaching patience with 1 week of spring under the belt, and 70 degree days on the way.

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