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Good Question: How Often Is March ‘In Like A Lion, Out Like A Lamb’?

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(credit: CBS) Heather Brown
Heather Brown loves to put her innate curiosity to work to answer yo...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Is the old saying about March — “In like a lion, out like a lamb” — just a saying? Kathy from St. Cloud asked how often that really happens.

“Sometimes it’s true, but more often it’s not,” said WCCO-TV chief meteorologist Chris Shaffer.

The saying dates back to 17th Century Europe, but some believe it may have roots in astrology. The Leo constellation can be seen in the beginning of March, while the Aries – or Ram – appears on the horizon at the end. Many people think it has to do with temperature, but it likely refers to storms.

“This year, it came in like a cold lamb,” Shaffer said.

On March 1, 2014, the high was 8 degrees with just a trace of snow.

Over the past five years, there has been only one lion day at the beginning or end of the month. On March 31, 2009, the high was 46 degrees, but it rained and snowed.

Shaffer says there is no normal March in Minnesota. The average high on March 1 is 34. By March 31, it jumps to 49. But, in 2012, it hit 80 degrees on March 17. The following year, it snowed in May.

“If we get something early on, there’s the hope that since we got thumped early in the month, it’s going to go quietly then,” Shaffer said. “That’s not always the case.”

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