Happy Easter

So when is Easter?  Traditionally, Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox.  Got that?  To make it slightly less complicated, the Catholic Church celebrates Easter on the first Sunday after the first full moon after March 21.  In reality, the spring equinox varies from year to year and can be as early as March 19 or as late as March 22 in some time zones.  In fact, this year, the spring equinox occurred on different days in different time zones in the United States.  That could in theory result in Easter being celebrated in different months in different parts of the country if you used the traditional definition.  So instead, the Catholic Church uses the "calendrical" spring equinox, which is fixed as March 21.  Ironically, the spring equinox rarely falls on that date exactly. 

Anyway, the point is that Easter can vary between March 22 and April 25 depending on the full moon.  Since we just happened to have a full moon on March 23 this year, we get a relatively early Easter.  Its no surprise that the record for the snowiest Easter in Boston was also one of the earlier dates…March 29, 1970 with 7.3" of snow.  Its also no surprise that the record for the warmest Easter was one of the later dates…April 18, 1976 with 94 degrees!  But it is kind of surprising that the record for the coldest Easter is right in the middle…April 5, 1874 with 11 degrees.

The weather this Easter will be right in the middle of those extremes.  You can expect high temps in the mid 40s near the coast and mid 50s well inland.  The skies will be a mixture of clouds and sun but any precipitation will hold off until Monday. 

Its possible it might begin as a brief period of freezing rain Monday morning in northern Worcester County or southern NH where overnight temps will be a bit cooler.  However, that wouldn’t be very widespread or long lasting.  Otherwise the forecast is periods of rain off and on throughout Monday.  The temperature forecast is a bit tricky as there will be a front moving through the area.  Parts of the South Coast, the Cape and the Islands may get on the warm side of the front and see temps climb into the 50s.  Most of us won’t get out of the 40s. 

The end of the work week will be another tricky forecast.  We have another frontal system arriving late Thursday or Friday that will bring us another round of showers.  Most of New England should be on the warm side of the front on Thursday so temperatures will soar into the 60s.  Even the 70s aren’t out of the question at this point.  However, depending on when the front arrives, we might squeeze out another day in the 60s on Friday or see temps fall into the 50s.   

By the way, the first full moon after March 21, 2017 will occur on Tuesday April 11, 2017.  That means next year we will be celebrating Easter on Sunday April 16.