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Valley residents take advantage of spring-like weather
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Mother Cami and daughter Saylor celebrate the wonderful weather by playing at Crane Park Monday afternoon. - photo by BROOKE BORBA / The Journal

Spring is here; or at least that is what it felt like for the past week. Although the official start of spring is still two weeks away, most Central Valley residents wouldn’t know the difference due to dry conditions and warm temperatures.

With temperatures reaching into the mid to low 70s throughout the past week, people are forgetting that winter is still technically in effect.

This weekend, local streets and neighborhood parks became populated with runners, bikers, and those looking for a breath of fresh air. Blossoms — especially those on almond trees — began to appear, adding a light pink contrast to the gentle blue sky.

Andrew and Cami Hemphill took advantage of the weather by taking their two young daughters, Saylor and Chloe, to Crane Park for a play session.

“We are out for the day, and just taking advantage of the weather,” Cami said.

Meanwhile, at the dog park adjoining Sunnyview Park, dogs bounded through the grass, ready to mingle with the same members of their community.

“We always come here. We come to know the people by their dogs,” said Allisyn Gehring, owner of Emma the boxer. “It is nice for them to get out and just play.”

Though the days have dawned earlier and the brighter hues of sunshine continue to lift spirits, showers are on the horizon.

Just as the saying goes: “March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb,” the lion still has some roar left.  According to the National Weather Service Forecast, the Central Valley will have a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms, possibly producing small bits of hail by tonight.

Temperatures are also expected to drop to the high 30s and low 40s. This trend should continue until Friday, which is likely to be mostly sunny with temperatures near 60.

Even though most people prefer sunshine to showers, the lack of rainfall this winter has caused a serious drought throughout California, much to the disdain of farmers.

Water consumers throughout the Central Valley will be hit hardest by this year’s shortcomings thanks to the California State Water Resources Control Board, which proposes that the Merced, Tuolumne and Stanislaus rivers be required to give up 35 percent of unimpaired flow, forcing a greater water shortage than the drought already provided.

Although Valley residents may seek an early start to spring, a late run of winter rainfall would better benefit the area. As the lion and lamb continue their intricate dance,  there is no telling who will dominate the other this March.