March welds our February, which was a time of snow, ice and cold, to our April, which starts the Washington Nationals’ Major League Baseball season.
Opening Day here, for what is essentially a summer game, is set for April 1.
On Saturday morning, the mercury sank to a persuasively wintry and too-cold-to-play 29 degrees.
That was three below the freezing point, and colder than many days earlier this year.
But in Washington, the official high temperature climbed to 49 degrees, one short of the more springlike 50s. It was only three below the average for March 6 here, which is 52.
Saturday was also relatively clear. It let the steadily strengthening March sun do its stuff.
Without many clouds to impede the sun’s rays, the millions of miles of space between Earth and sun could not stop the beams from warming us.
When we felt it, that solar warmth provided silent assurance of the arrival of spring.
It said that whatever low temperature had been recorded at 6:40 a.m., brighter and, at least for many of us, more pleasant days awaited.
Saturday’s story, however, could not be so quickly packaged and put to rest. In addition to the highs and the lows, and the smile of the sun, another important aspect of our environment demanded attention.
That was the wind.
At its peak, it blew out of the northwest at 24 mph. At least once, it gusted as high as 32.
With such figures, even those of us culturally conditioned to shrug off wind as only to be expected from March may have paused to take note.
Just before noon, when the thermometer registered 43 degrees, scientific wind-chill calculations supported any claims that it nevertheless felt as though we were enduring a more wintry 36.