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Dave Epstein | Weather

It’s frigid out there — a fresh reminder of spring’s volatile weather

Pedestrians are seen through the metal loops of a bike rack as they walked down Clarendon Street in the frigid cold on Monday.
Pedestrians are seen through the metal loops of a bike rack as they walked down Clarendon Street in the frigid cold on Monday.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Spring is a volatile season. A big snowstorm out west and unusually cold air in the east, along with widespread severe weather across the south later this week, are a good reminder of that.

Severe weather is likely later this week across the Deep South.
Severe weather is likely later this week across the Deep South.NOAA

It’s worth mentioning that some areas in the Rockies have received more than 4 feet of snow this weekend. Denver’s airport recorded more than 2 feet as I write this and it was still snow lightly. This storm has been historic in scope and in total amounts of snow.

Very high snowfall totals can be seen across Colorado early Monday.
Very high snowfall totals can be seen across Colorado early Monday.NOAA

Here in the East, today’s cold doesn’t last all that long as the sun this time of the year is as strong as it would be in late September, so it gets more and more difficult for these cold shots to have a significant duration. Nevertheless, temperatures today will stay in the subfreezing range for one of the colder March 15 years on record.

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If Boston stays under 30 degrees Monday, it would be one of only a handful of times this has occurred.
If Boston stays under 30 degrees Monday, it would be one of only a handful of times this has occurred.NOAA data

There will probably be at least some cold damage to the crocus blooms as well those spring ephemerals. Plants like these can handle cold, but extreme cold is a different story. Plants emerging are hardy, but there is a limit to what they can stand.

The howling winds of last night will continue to be noticeable all day today, but not quite as strong now that wind advisories have expired. That doesn’t mean that wind chills aren’t going to be at or below zero for the first few hours this morning. It will continue to be very cold all day.

Temperatures are not forecast to reach freezing in Boston Monday.
Temperatures are not forecast to reach freezing in Boston Monday.NOAA

Expect another below-average-temperature kind of night ahead, with readings in the coldest spots down in the low teens. The rest of us will be in the 15- to 22-degree range, with the warmest on Cape Cod and Boston.

Some moderation arrives on Tuesday with temperatures up near 40 degrees and much less wind. You might have noticed that the forecast doesn’t include any precipitation and indeed that looks to be the case right through the weekend.

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A storm system is going to move south of New England Thursday into Friday and likely miss us. If the storm comes far enough north, we could see some rain and wet snow. But it appears the dry pattern that started this month is firmly in place.

This dry weather could become more problematic should it continue. The drought last year was significant. Parts of northern New England have not completely recovered and there’s already moderate drought in much of Vermont. The abnormally dry weather is starting to show up on our drought monitor here in Southern New England, as well.

Dry weather this early in the season is concerning. Drought is already showing up in parts of New England.
Dry weather this early in the season is concerning. Drought is already showing up in parts of New England.NOAA

The lack of rain is going to be good for one thing and that is cleaning up yards and gardens. You’ll be able to comfortably work in them this coming weekend. In the meantime, bundle up today.

Follow Dave Epstein @growingwisdom.