Come, let us think carefully about a hope that many of us Ontarians entertain in this month of March: that spring is in the air! It is not. Spring is in the air in April. In March, winter is at its most treacherous.
It enchants with warm temperatures and patches of bare earth revealed. It beguiles with dripping sap from maple trees awakening from their hibernation. It even offers birdsong. It hypnotizes us into believing that we have seen its backside, turning in after a season of blanketing, deadening snow, giving way to spring and her glorious fecundity.
Resist the hex, dear reader! Do not believe the lie! Winter is still here, and it revels in the anger and consternation it produces with its sinister seduction when with one final freezing storm it leaves the too-hopeful among us scraping five inches of snow off our cars in running shoes and T-shirts. Every. Single. Year.
I urge you not to be fooled in this way.
Consider the facts. Take Kitchener-Waterloo, for example: a thirty-year average of weather data shows that the amount of snowfall in March is more than three times that of April, and twice that of November. It competes in snowfall with months like February and December. March averages 27cm of snow over 9 days of snowfall while February and December average 30cm and 37cm over 12 and 15 days respectively. November and April sit at a measly 13cm and 7cm over 7 and 3 days.
There is on average as much snow on the ground in Kitchener-Waterloo in March as there is in December, and in many cities of Ontario March actually has more.
As for major snowstorms, the data is consistent: over a two year span each of December, January, February, and March generally see one storm that dumps more than 10cm of snow in a single day. November and April see such a storm only once in ten years.
As you can see, March is much more like the winter months than it is like the months of warmer seasons like spring or fall.
I do not tell you these things to instill depression. On the contrary, my aim to steel you and prepare you for the inevitable so that you may go boldly forth in this bewitching month and enjoy to the fullest those balmy days—those days when the sunshine feels warm again, when the rivers run high and the meltwater drips from every branch and rooftop—go ahead and truly savour those days! But do not be seduced! There will come a day (and it will come after the days just described) when winter will assert its snowy, frigid self one last and blustery time. On that day you can laugh in its face, knowing that this is but the course of nature, that spring is indeed coming (in April), and that, hey, why not pull out the toboggan just once more and enjoy what winter has to offer while it’s still here. Maybe follow it up with a cup of hot cocoa (ethically sourced, of course).
Whatever you do, don’t complain about winter’s denouement. Complaining about the weather is just about the most boring thing you can do, and you’re more interesting than that.