It was damp, drizzly, rainy and, face it, fairly dreary. It was February, and it has gone, and with it, at least meteorologically speaking, went winter.
Although astronomical winter — the days from the December solstice to the March equinox — runs until the 20th of this month, meteorologists regard winter as the three months that start Dec. 1 and end the last day of February.
Whether we detected dreariness may depend on personal considerations, but February’s weather, as observed at Reagan National Airport, provided a gray, moist environment in which the dispiriting could thrive. At least a few raindrops fell on 14 days.
In grading February, the National Weather Service ranked only two of its days as fair, the sort many of us describe as all blue skies and sunshine.
Twelve days, the Weather Service ledger says, were classified as partly cloudy. And one half of February’s 28 days got a grade of cloudy.
But February’s redeeming qualities included an absence of true frigidity. The average temperature of 42.2 degrees was more than three degrees above normal.
Now, we have moved on to inhabit March.
By meteorologists’s reckoning, Friday started spring, little as it may have matched the popular conception of the season. The day offered cold, damp and dismal in copious quantities.
And did we mention that it snowed? At Reagan National, the snowfall amounted to 0.3 inches.
That brought the total snow in Washington since the cold weather set in to 16.9 inches.
It did not come all at once in one of the great storms that paralyzes the capital for days, but it was a respectable amount, almost 20 percent more than normal.
Forecasts indicate that more snow is possible in coming days. We may also endure another outbreak of Arctic air, capable of converting the first days of meteorologists’ spring into the depths of everyone’s winter.