Friday was start of meteorological spring, so where’s the sun? Here’s Boise’s extended spring forecast

The last week or so in Boise has been a confusing one for weather forecasters and enthusiasts alike.

Temperatures late last week peaked in the lower 60s before a cold front swept through, dropping temperatures to the 30s and 40s, and bringing rain and snow to the Treasure Valley. Just when the weather had calmed down, strong wing gusts prompted the National Weather Service to put out a wind advisory for Thursday. More cold and precipitation followed over the weekend.

In short, the chaotic weather can mean only one thing: we’re transitioning to spring.

Meteorological spring officially started on Friday, March 1, while astronomical spring begins on March 19.

The meteorological calendar breaks the four seasons into easy-to-remember three-month chunks, with spring being March, April and May. Meanwhile, the astronomical calendar bases its months on the equinoxes and solstices, with spring starting on the vernal equinox.

Calling it spring on Friday is one thing, but when will it feel like spring? If you like to follow such things, Punxsutawney Phil, the weather-forecasting groundhog, predicted that spring would come early this year, but will that be the case for Boise?

Here’s when you can expect temperatures to warm up and when it’ll start to feel truly like spring.

Boise’s short-term forecast

You’ll be sorely disappointed if you hoped spring would suddenly arrive when we hit March.

The National Weather Service in Boise had in its forecasts a chance of rain and snow every day until at least Thursday, which is as far out as its forecasts go.

“An unseasonably strong and cold upper-level trough remains off the coast,” the Weather Service said in a Friday social media post. “An impressive cold air cumulus field (popcorn clouds) with it showing how cold it is aloft. This system will bring intermittent snow showers to the region through the weekend.”

The upper-level trough will keep high temperatures in Boise in the low 40s, while overnight low temperatures will drop to 26. Typical high and low temperatures in Boise for early March are in the low 50s and low 30s, respectively.

When will spring warmth arrive in Boise?

While much of the country will enjoy a warm March, the Old Farmer’s Almanac predicted that the Pacific Northwest would be one of the few places to endure a colder-than-average March.

“You can expect above-average March temperatures along the East Coast (except for Florida), in the eastern Ohio Valley and Great Lakes, from the Deep South up into Texas and Oklahoma, on the West Coast, and in Alaska,” the Almanac read. “Near- to below-average temperatures are largely anticipated elsewhere.”

The Climate Prediction Center, an arm of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, tends to agree.

The CPC forecasts that Boise will have a 40%-50% chance of colder-than-average temperatures over the next two weeks and around equal chances between colder- or warmer-than-average temps by the end of the month.

Most areas west of the Rocky Mountains will likely see below-average temperatures to start March.
Most areas west of the Rocky Mountains will likely see below-average temperatures to start March.

Fortunately, things will improve for Idaho in April and May, as usual.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac said that April would be “warmer than normal” and May would be “generally on the drier side” for the Pacific Northwest.

In the meantime, the next time Boise hits 50 degrees might be the week of Monday, March 11, forecasts show.