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It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year? I think so!

It may be a Christmas song, but I've been singing "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" in my head all morning long. You see, there are plenty of things that are coming together to make the end of this week a perfect one (in my opinion). Not only will there be great weather ushering in the official start of Spring, but it's the start of March Madness, and to top it all off it's St. Patrick's Day. "Overload... overload..."

I guess since this is a weather blog after all maybe I might elaborate on that whole weather thing a little bit. So what we have going on right now is a very weak storm system exiting the East Coast. Technically, a cold front is pushing through which will work to clear out our skies as high pressure builds in behind it. But the new airmass that arrives just isn't very cold at all. In fact, tomorrow's highs will still be above-normal, right around 70 degrees.

The real picture perfect weather begins on Friday. Once this area of high pressure shifts slightly off the coast, winds will shift into the southwest and really pump the warm air northward into the Carolinas. If you live inland, this means highs close to 80 for you for Friday and Saturday. Along the coast, well - you're not as warm, but still temperatures near 70 will feel great with lots of sunshine.

The best part though? There's no definitive end in sight to this great weather. Sure, we'll have a little bit of a cool-down on Sunday as a front drops through, but we'll still be pleasant in the high 60's. And by next week, our temperatures bump right back into the 70's. With our days getting longer day by day, expect those Spring blooms to be moving at hyper-speed over the next week. Dare I say Azaleas may even start to bloom? We'll see.. I don't profess to be a horticulturist.

So now that the weather talk is over - let's talk basketball. Like many of you, I love college basketball. And if you love college basketball, the best day of the year has to be that first day of the NCAA Tournament. Even if your team's not in it that year, watching up to 16 games with buzzer-beaters and Cinderellas born every second is just like Christmas for us hoops fanatics. Of course watching the tournament is better if your teams are playing.

Now, I'll say it right now - I am not a Duke fan, or a Heels fan, or even a State fan (no hatemail please). Growing up in Upstate New York, I've lived and died Syracuse Orange basketball through many a dark winter. They're my favorite team. But this year I not only get to watch 'Cuse in the tournament, but I also get to watch my alma mater Penn State play in their first NCAA tourney since 2001. Thankfully they don't (and shouldn't) square off against each other.

To top it all off, all this excitement gets going on good 'ole St. Patty's Day! What more could an Irish boy want? So I think tomorrow after I'm done with work I'll head home, make sure my brackets are in order, throw on some green, and head out to celebrate the games, the weather, and my Irish blood!

It's the most wonderful time of the year
With the basketballs bouncing,
and Irishmen shouting a warm weather cheer!

It's the most wonderful time of the year

"Sláinte!" (cheers)

- TB



By: Tim Buckley