Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Is it come?

The Spring, that is.

Our weather has been so enigmatic, so unpredictable over the past week or two that the forecasting website I mostly use, Weather Underground, seems to have been constantly revising and re-revising its five-day outlook.... and still getting it wrong.

Intermittent suggestions that the daytime temperatures would get above 60⁰ F seem to have been not quite realised, because of heavy overcasts. Likewise, predictions that the overnight temperatures would not quite drop below freezing have been frustrated: I think there has still been at least mild frost in the wee small hours almost every night. That's the crucial factor, I think. The trees don't need daytime highs much above 50⁰ F to start budding, but they do like three or four consecutive days of no overnight frost before they feel confident enough to start putting forth.

But today.... today seemed like it might just possibly be the first real harbinger of the Spring. It probably wasn't quite as warm as the gorgeous mild spell we had at the end of February, but somehow it just had that 'feel' - there was that certain intimation that temperatures were going to continue to rise from here on, and that there would be no going back. If things continue in this vein for a few more days, we'll see blossoms at the weekend.

It is quite uncanny: the weather in Beijing is wildly changeable in many ways, but the transition of the seasons seems to run like clockwork. The arrival of Spring, in particular, seems to have a metronomic regularity. It's happened on the last weekend of March every year I've been here. Well, once or twice, it might have been slightly premature, gearing up during the preceding week. And once, I think, it was a little half-hearted over the weekend, and didn't really arrive in full force until a day or two later. But the breaking out of the blossoms has never been more than a week or so before the end of the month; and it's never been deferred to April. Every year without fail, it comes at the end of March.

It's the nicest time of year in Beijing. Pity it lasts less than a fortnight!

1 comment:

Froog said...

Ah, so much for that! We had a mid-evening episode of sleety snow the very next night. It's beginning to look as if Spring may be late this year.