Spring is almost here, and the winter beast, whose cold bark this season sometimes was as bad as its bite, is exiting with a whimper.
Spring is scheduled to officially arrive Monday at 7:28 a.m. The first day of spring is the vernal equinox, when the sun crosses the Equator, making the day and night here of equal length.
Today’s expected partly cloudy skies, resulting from the remnants of a weak cold front from the Gulf of Alaska, will be the only break in a pleasant pattern that will produce a sunny weekend. Higher temperatures are expected as high pressure gradually builds.
National Weather Service forecaster Wilbur Shigehara said the relatively dry winter only adds to concern about the drought.
“Winter has been disappointing,” he said. “The question is, ‘Where’s the rain?’ ”
Though the winter beast invoked some wintry chills here, it brought very little rain. Shigehara said precipitation in January and February amounted to a little more than an inch. March now has .06 of an inch.
“I think it will be interesting to see how March ends,” Shigehara said. “If we don’t get more rain, it will be one of the driest January-March (periods) since 1850.”
Meanwhile, beach highs of 58 to 62 today and Saturday, gradually reaching 65 degrees Sunday, are expected. The coastal strip may hit highs in the mid-60s through Saturday, possibly reaching 70 Sunday, with nighttime lows of 50 to 55 degrees.
Weekend mountain highs will be 46 to 52 today, low 40s to middle 50s Saturday and up to 60 Sunday, the forecast says. Overnight lows are expected to be cool, 32 to 42 degrees.