Preston Sparks is the education editor for The Augusta Chronicle. He has worked for Morris Communications for more than 12 years, previously serving as The Augusta Chronicle's bureau chief in Aiken and Columbia counties as well as night city editor and a reporter who has covered such topics as crime, government and transportation. He was recently tapped to coordinate the paper's local and regional education news coverage. Preston is a graduate of Augusta State University and has lived in the area for more than 20 years.
Posted February 26, 2009 10:46 pm - Updated February 26, 2009 11:56 pm

Snow in the spring?

Personally, I have strong doubts, but on Thursday the weather buzz was all about a possibility of snow on Sunday.
That's right. The Weather Channel's Web site was showing a prediction for rain/snow showers/wind for Augusta on Sunday.
If so, it certainly would be a unique way to ring in the first day of March.
As of Thursday, even my friends at the National Weather Service weren't ruling out the potential for the white stuff for that day.
"The models are hinting for a chance of snow," said Dave Schuetrum, a meteorologist with the weather service in West Columbia. "But, that's quite a ways out and we are just not sure. There needs to be more agreement with the other models and right now there isn't. Timing is the key...cold air and precipitation, the ingredients..."
Interestingly, on the same day snow talk was getting started for the first day of March, Georgia's state climatologist Dr. David Stooksbury sent out a release stating how most meteorologists, atmospheric scientists and climatologists consider March 1 as when spring begins.
That's despite the fact that most calendars mark March 20 as the start, which Dr. Stooksbury said is based on the vernal equinox.
"This is referred to as astronomical spring," Dr. Stooksbury stated in his release.
Meanwhile, "The National Weather Service uses March 1 as the beginning of spring for climate summary purposes," Dr. Stooksbury stated.
But he states that some might have a different idea of when spring starts.
"Other designations of spring include Good Friday or the start of the baseball season. My  personal favorite is the Masters Tournament week in Augusta. Once the Masters is over, spring is usually here to stay in Georgia," he states.
Considering the potential for snow on Sunday, such later start dates might be more apropos.
How about you? What are your thoughts on when spring starts?