It might as well be summer, not the start of spring

Guest Editorial
The calendar declared Tuesday to be the start of spring. As we sat on our patio or front porch, eating ice cream or sipping iced tea, we knew better: Never mind spring; this is practically summer.

March 2012 already has its place in history books, or at least in local folklore. A month in which temperature records fell day after day. … Strange days, indeed.

This wave of high temperatures and a warmer-than-usual winter have gone beyond curiosity They are affecting the economy, from the golf courses that opened early to ice cream vendors doing big business to shops getting an influx of eager gardeners.

The economic impact is not all positive. Business for people who drive snow plows dried up early this year, although some might get an early start on lawn-service or landscaping work.

It is likely that this early spring might bring out mosquitoes, one of what could be several unforeseen consequences of this weather. Heating bills, already low this winter, should be flattening out dramatically this month. That provide some relief for residents who are dealing with $3.99-a-gallon gasoline, another reality this March that seems out of season.

Let the scientists conclude whether this is genuine climate change, or just a fluke. Either way, it’s unavoidable, and it will be affecting our lives for a while, even if the weather returns to normal.

College basketball fans call this time of year “March Madness.” The term seems to apply to everyone today. … Break out the inflatable backyard pool.