Old Man Winter, who arrived in Maryland way too early in 2013 and stayed way too long into 2014, died Thursday, sort of, hopefully, thankfully, please, please, please. And thank God.
The death was hinted at in the form of a weather forecast, which for the first time in memory calls for no significant snow and no bitterly cold temperatures in Maryland over the next two days, or three days, or five days or even 15 days out.
Mr. Winter’s death was confirmed by the calendar, which shows Thursday, March 20, circled in red and marked, "First Day of Spring."
The forecast for Maryland, in fact, calls for weather fit for dancing on Mr. Winter's hard and cold grave, with highs reaching well into the 60s this weekend and lows that we could care less about because we'll be in bed anyways.
Mr. Winter was born prematurely in the heavens — but let’s blame Chicago — in November 2013, about a month before he was due, moving to Maryland with the first trace of snow at Baltimore-Washington International Airport recorded on Nov. 12.
From there, he became a force across the region, the relentless, tough S.O.B. (Son Of a 'Burg), having brought snow, cold, snow, ice and more snow to Maryland during what seemed like a life that would never end.
Among the Old Man's "accomplishments," he:
dumped 38.8 inches of snow at BWI over the season, nearly double the 19.7 average;
hit pockets of the region much harder than that, with a foot at a time reported in parts of Prince George's and Montgomery counties, among other areas;
dumped 11.9 inches in March, including one last slap of more than 7 inches March 16 and 17, St. Patrick's Day, for cryingoutloud;
caused so many schools closures that extra classes had to be added in many parts of the state;
dropped to a seasonal low of 4 degrees on March 4, the coldest March 4 since the National Weather Service began keeping records in 1872;
led one perhaps-frustrated snow-plow driver in the region to terrorize motorists by barreling at them at speed.
He is survived by little clumps of blackening crystals shrinking on curbsides and areas of shade, and by several million Marylanders and other good Americans glad to be done with him and his s--- (snow).
Oh, and he’s survived by an unborn son, due to arrive Dec. 21, 2014. Later, if we’re lucky.