Feature Writer Karen Crowder – The Occasionally (Unseasonably) Warm Easter

Children and adults anticipate the excitement of this holiday and this time of year in general. Attending religious services and celebrating at meals with friends and family are all part of the fun. Children love Easter egg hunts and getting baskets filled with treats. Here in New England, people eagerly hope for warm temperatures after long winters (even though this year is a serious exception). I remember three Easters in particular that stand out when warm weather came to town earlier than anyone ever expected.

From April 16, through the 21st in 1976, we experienced heat as if it was mid-June. Friday afternoon, my mom and I made chocolate icebox brownies, a recipe grabbed from the Braille Monitor. Saturday morning I went to Quincy and met with friends for an afternoon of lunch and shopping. The square was really crowded and everyone was enjoying this summer-like day.

That Easter Sunday dawned very warm and I spent the day with my godparents. We all stood in awe in front of the thermometer as it rose to over 90 degrees. According to data at the Northeast Regional climate center, it was 94 degrees at Logan Airport that day. Our family relaxed that evening in the yard in East Weymouth as if it was a calm July night.

Years later, Easter weekend of 2006 fell in mid-April, and New Englanders were treated to warm temperatures in the seventies both Saturday and Sunday. Easter Eve we went to Easter Vigil services and all stood listening to readings in the dark church with lighted candles. On Sunday, in Gardner, we sat on the patio eating and laughing, enjoying being together on what was an unseasonably beautiful day. Though, the nice weather was short-lived, as a few weeks later we were in the midst of monsoon-like rains that May.

Just two years ago on Easter weekend of 2010, we were given yet another warm weekend. According to Google, temperatures were in the mid-to-upper seventies on Saturday, April 3, and Sunday April 4. My friend Marian and I attended Easter Vigil services at our church. That warm evening we held lighted candles and wore summer outfits as we walked in to the church. Easter Sunday, three of us, all widows, shared dinner. I made Never Fail Chocolate Cake from the Braille cookbook “What’s Happening in 39/99.” It was not up to my standards, as I had not made it in a long time, yet everyone liked it.

This year, it’s anyone guess what will happen. With winter as warm as it’s been, we’re likely to have yet another uncommonly temperate holiday. But then again, stranger things have happened. While I’ve spoken about a few lovely warm Easter days, there have been many others that were downright nasty. Some even went so far as to bring snow with them as well.

To contact the Northeast Regional climate center at Cornell in New York, phone 1-607-255-1751. Ask for Jessica–a very patient person who is willing to answer any question you have. You can also go to Google maps, under weather, and enter on the link “historical data.”

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