"I'm as restless as a willow in a windstorm // I'm as jumpy as a puppet on a string. // I'd say that I had Spring fever // But I know it isn't Spring."
The old song, "It Might as Well Be Spring," certainly resonates with me in February. I feel almost off-balanced, walking the sidewalks of Cleveland and the rest of Northeast Ohio with the glow of sunshine bouncing off my face. It is a most unusual February. So unusual, Cleveland and area set weather records with temperatures dancing in the mid-70s.
Usually this time of the year, Northeast Ohio is digging itself out from a snowbank and trying to keep its footing on icy streets. But Winter seems to have lost its map it uses to navigate through this part of the country. At a park on the Cleveland West Side, there were several families leisurely walking through February warmth.
It sounds crazy to even utter the phrase February warmth on the shores of Lake Erie, which is usually frozen from Ohio to Canada this time of the year. But meteorologists say the jet stream has moved farther to the north, putting Ohio on the warm side of the weather.
"The weather patterns favor cold air arriving, but only being able to stay for two or three days at a time," said Mark Johnson, chief meteorlogist at WEWS News 5 in Cleveland. "Then it goes back north and we get warm," he concluded.
Meteorologists have their heads stuck in their maps and instruments, following a most unusual Winter in Cleveland. However, most people simply walk outside and enjoy what nature has given. They may not fully understand the intricacies of weather patterns, but they do know a good thing when they see it. Or feel it.
Still, those who know how harsh winter can be in Northeast Ohio are bracing for the other shoe to drop. Somewhere out there Winter is waiting to push through with its heavy footstep and frosty fist. Longtime Northeast Ohioans know this February Spring is not the real thing. It is just a fling. But we are all taking it while it's here. And enjoying the warmth.