Could spring be near?

This shovel couldn't hack a South Dakota winter. It broke while I was using it to shovel my driveway after one of our bigger storms this season. (Photo by Seth Tupper)

This has been a tough winter. The National Weather Service in Sioux Falls reports that this region hasn’t been above 40 degrees since Dec. 1, and the 20 inches of snow depth measured Jan. 7-8 in Sioux Falls was the fifth deepest ever recorded in that city. Much of that snow is still with us.

But as I look out my window today, the sun is shining. The forecast where I live in South Dakota includes a high of 31 degrees which, given the kind of winter we’ve had, is going to feel like 71.

I can’t think of a better way to start the month of March. For many South Dakotans, March is the unofficial beginning of spring. We realize spring won’t officially start until March 20, and we also realize we could suffer through winter-like conditions well into April. But we’re so desperate for spring to begin, our mind tricks us into thinking that the flipping of the calendar over to March signals spring’s arrival.

And then we walk outside on a day like today and, despite a temperature of only 31 and the presence of a couple of feet of snow that’s been on the ground since December, we feel the sun on our face and sense the approach of warmer weather and sigh contentedly as we say, "Ah, spring."

After the kind of winter we’ve had, we need to believe that spring is imminent in order to avoid going crazy. So I’m celebrating today, March 1, as the first day of spring. And I won’t listen to anybody who tries to tell me otherwise.

After all, if it’s going to be 31 degrees today, it won’t be long till we hit 40. It’s time to get those shorts and flip-flops ready.

Categories: General News

About Author

Seth Tupper

Seth Tupper was born and raised in South Dakota and earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from South Dakota State University in 2001. After college, he worked at a newspaper in Minnesota and then returned to South Dakota in 2003 to join the staff of The Daily Republic in Mitchell, where he is currently the publisher. Seth has won numerous awards for his writing, including the 2007 Outstanding Young Journalist award in the daily newspapers category of the South Dakota Newspaper Association's Better Newspapers Contest. Seth's day-job and freelance work have granted him opportunities to meet hundreds of South Dakotans and travel across much of the state. He also spends a lot of his free time exploring South Dakota's state and national parks, hiking trails and kayak-friendly rivers.

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