The 20th of March, according to the calendar, is the first day of spring. The state of Montana's response: "So what?" Today we progressed through freezing sleet, snow, wind and finally some sun. Temperatures early evening were again below freezing. And the wind was biting.
Montanans begin to hope, when March 20th arrives, that we have just another month of winter. We can expect nice days here and there - but some winter storms are undoubtedly still to come.
I know better than to be fooled by a calendar date or a stretch of nice weather. I just have to think of the time we purchased a car in April, too late to bother putting snow tires on it that year. One week later, on April 29th, we woke up to 22 inches of heavy wet snow. I drove my kids to school without incident, but by the time I returned home, my tracks were covered. Any recognizable outline of our steep, curving driveway had completely disappeared. Sure enough, part-way up it my car started to slip. I was unable to see well enough to navigate the skid, and my car rolled backwards right into the ditch at the bottom of the driveway. The memory of having to call a tow truck the very end of April remains vivid in my mind.
Spring will come, but we will have both nice days and snow storms before it does. Having seen snow in Montana every month of the year, I'll continue to consult my calendar for scheduled appointments, but not the weather.