I’m Katy Ricalde for The Daily Bret and this is your weekly report!  This week I wanted to take a moment to address the weather affecting much of the nation.

We are more than a week into spring and I for one am ready to break out the flip flops, colorful dresses and suntan lotion!  Anyone that knows me is aware that I am not a “cold weather” kind of girl and if the warm weather would hurry up and get here, I hereby promise not to complain about the high humidity and record breaking temperatures that come with DC summers!  

It is Easter weekend and the word “Marchuary” is being tossed around via Twitter to describe the frigid temperatures affecting almost half of the United States! March is officially colder than January for most folks in the Southeast this year.  Take a look at some of these Tweets:

@lisahayes4: Ugh, make it stop RT @just1nbruce: Cloud deck has lowered and snow is flying in downtown Nashville. Marchuary

@IrishEagle: #Marchuary in Asheville. Still snowing. Soon it will be Aprilary.

@weatherninja: Since March 2013 is more winter like than spring like, I am renaming it Marchuary to fall in line with January & February.

@peaceofclay890: 1-3 inches of snow expected in DC today. I’ll be glad when Marchuary is over and spring begins.

This week a snow cover blanketed more than 48% of the country. The same time last year it was less than 8%. In all fairness many parts of the country were experiencing record breaking temperatures last year, but with temps what they are now who can even remember that far back! South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Alabama..all experiencing below average temperatures.

I am going to place a large portion of the blame on the weather-predicting groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, who predicted an early spring for 2013. Just six days after Phil’s prediction a winter storm dumped 30 inches of snow on New England and here in D.C. the Cherry Blossoms have barley started to bloom. Check out the photos from the tidal basin this year compared to 2012:

  (March 23, 2012/Flickr: bexatious)                                        


  (March 23, 2013/Flicr: Hikrchick)                                      


One town in Ohio (hopefully all in good fun) is demanding justice, claiming Punxsutawney Phil mislead the American people and it should be punishable by death! I don’t know if I would go that far, but a prosecutor filed an official brief claiming that “Phil did purposely, and with prior calculation and design, cause the people to believe that spring would come early.” 

Phil’s handlers have come to his defense and perhaps even taken some of the blame. Bill Deeley, president of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle,  told the Associated Press “I’m the guy that did it; I’ll be the guy. It’s not Phil’s fault,” saying he misunderstood what Phil told him in his secret language.

I'm not going to blame poor Phil or his handlers, but he did drop the ball this year. And speaking from experience I can say the U.S. isn't alone in below average temperatures. I was in Ireland for St. Patrick's Day last week and it was much colder than I expected. We experienced sleet and snow and according to locals temps were between 15- 20 degrees lower than in 2012!  If you look closely you can see the snowflakes in this photo taken at the Cliffs of Moher.

What do you think about this weather? Has it affected your travel plans or ruined a vacation? Or maybe you like the cold? Share your stories and photos with me via Twitter @KatyRicalde and I will post them here on the blog! Here's to a Happy Easter and a warmer April!