THE WEATHER seems to be proceeding along the same track as the economy. Some of the experts feel that the winter, like the recession, may continue indefinitely. The Reagan administration's position, if we understand it correctly, is that spring is coming, but it has been delayed by the lack of public confidence in it.
How about you? Have you contributed to the current temperatures by your failure to believe that warm and sunny days are coming?
The technical explanations for the current weather are complex. Like the administration's monetary policy, it represents a warming trend in the grip of a cooling trend--or perhaps vice versa. On the one hand, there has been thunder and lightening. On the other hand, there has been a cold wind to blow the whiskers off a fox terrier. To the north and west of this city, there have been ugly blizzards. Despite menacing forecasts all weekend, the Washington area has been spared more snow-- although Washington residents would be unwise, in our judgment, to attribute their narrow escape to any unusual degree of civic virtue here. We aren't being rewarded; as usual, we have just been lucky.
The weatherperson keeps saying that this city has had a little less rain than normal since the turn of the year. Less rain than normal? The official figures excite suspicion that the weatherperson has left his or her rain gauge in the coat closet, where it is ill placed to catch the torrents that have filled every river, stream, gutter and cow pond--not to mention some basements and a few attics. First the statisticians tell us that the weekly monetary figures are shaky, and now the Weather Service says that we haven't had our full ration of cold rain.
The latest leading indicators--forsythia, jonquils and tulips--point to an imminent change for the better. Will those indicators be borne out, or merely blown away? That forsythia is pretty tough. But the tulips are taking a terrible beating from the wind.
It is a perilous moment. The entire metropolitan area is balanced between two seasons. It could go either way. With a few bad breaks, the whole situation could slide right back into February. Or, alternatively, the wind might die down and let everybody get on with April. The best thing to do is to stay calm, drink many hot liquids and keep your eye on the jonquils.