I've always observed the change of seasons with more reverence and awe than New Year's Eve. After all, the beginning of a new year is an arbitrary date which can actually be recognized just about any time during the year. However, an equinox or a solstice is a much more meaningful "event" and can be explained astronomically. The time is exact and changes every year although, for the most part, the date doesn't vary much.
The change of seasons is due to the 23.4 degree tilt of the Earth's axis. Because of the tilt, we receive the Sun's rays most directly in the Summer. In the Winter, when we are tilted away from the Sun, the rays pass through the atmosphere at a greater slant, bringing lower temperatures. If the Earth rotated on an axis perpendicular to the plane of the Earth's orbit around the Sun, there would be no variation in day lengths or temperatures throughout the year, and we would not have seasons.
Now that Winter is just about in our rear-view mirror, how did we fare as far as snow is concerned? Officially, more than four-and-a-half feet (56.3") of snow fell this season at Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford. That's more than double the 25.2" normal, but slightly below last year's total (61.3") through March 17. This season's snowfall approached the 62.6" total from three years ago.
Fair weather is expected through early tomorrow afternoon before rain arrives late in the day through tomorrow night. No major storms are expected over the course of the next seven days. In fact, daytime high temperatures will climb to near 50 degrees for the first day of Spring. However, much colder air is expected by the start of next week.