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Evidence that spring weather coming is breaking out all over

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There are growing signs that spring is finally springing.

One story in Monday’s Watertown Daily Times, titled “Eclectic mix of items emerges after thaw,” reported that residents are beginning to locate many possessions hidden by the months of snow the north country has endured. The warmer temperatures are bringing closure to the searches for lost cellphones, clothing and shoes, the story said.

Two other articles in Monday’s paper linked boating and outdoorsman events to the changing of the seasons. One story, titled “Massena Expo a sign of spring,” reported on the 36th annual Massena Rod & Gun Club Sportsman’s Expo held Saturday and Sunday. The other article, titled “Boat lovers flood into Clayton,” highlighted the 1000 Islands-Clayton Spring Boat Show, also held this past weekend.

Such occurrences are welcome signs of spring, which officially began March 20. Until now, though, it hasn’t felt much like a prelude to summer. While temperatures grew colder again early in the week, we take comfort in the fact that the worst of the winter weather is behind us.

And what a year it’s been so far.

A total of 201.55 inches of snow fell on the city during the 2013-14 winter, according to information from the Watertown Water Filtration Plant. That makes this the third-snowiest winter in recorded history. The most snow came in the 1899-1900 winter with 225.30 inches followed by the 1976-77 winter with 224 inches.

It’s not that spring won’t bring its fair share of challenges. For one, we’re not quite done with the cold air just yet. It may not be as bad as the frigid periods of this past winter, but temperatures hovering just above freezing aren’t much to brag about.

And one rainy day after the next will make front- and backyards very soggy. How many youth sporting activities will be cancelled as a result of waterlogged athletic fields? Even more serious, will flooding plague parts of the north country now that the snow is receding?

The changing seasons always take their toll. But one of the harshest winters in recent memory, however, is over.

As the daylight grows longer and the air warms incrementally, we can see the joy of spring and the thrill of summer approaching. And we can all join in expressing one thought: It’s about time!

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