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Light rain greets arrival of spring in Manteca/Lathrop

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Light rain greets arrival of spring in Manteca/Lathrop

Aidan Gardner, 4, enjoys the spring-like weather on Tuesday at Woodward Park in Manteca.

ROSE ALBANO RISSO/The Bulletin


POSTED March 20, 2013 1:14 a.m.

It’s officially the first day of spring.

The Vernal Equinox marks the end of the Northern San Joaquin Valley’s version of the long, cold and dark winter.

And that’s music to the ears of Brett Phillips.

Phillips – who expected the spring weather that has rolled in and hovered over the Northern San Joaquin Valley to break a week ago – doesn’t mind that rain and snow weren’t a big part of the late winter equation this year.

The string of 70-degree days that has filled parks and driven people outdoors has given him and his friends the chance play soccer outdoors on their own more days in March than he ever expected.

Even with rain expected today – light showers in the latter half of the day – and the mercury is expected to drop into the 60s, Phillips said that not being cooped up inside like he has been in winters of the past is a wonderful feeling.

“We’ve had pretty much the perfect weather,” he said. “You can get away with shorts and then a sweatshirt at night. It’s like Bay Area weather, and I like it over there.

“I’m sure we’ll get some rain again, but I wish it would stay like this forever.”

Temperatures are expected to reach just 68 degrees today and on Thursday but rise back up in the 70 by Friday afternoon.

The overcast skies on Monday reminded Annabelle Sandoval of the time that she spent in the Midwest – slightly balmy with cooler temperatures when the sun finally went down at night.

Sandoval said that he didn’t have any immediate plans to take advantage of the spring weather, but noted that she’d like to visit Yosemite National Park before the crowds get too out of control. She also wouldn’t mind seeing a spring rainstorm or two.

“We don’t get the kind of rain here you see other places, but once in a while its nice,” she said. “We’re lucky. When I moved here I fell in love with it – it gets hot in the summer but it isn’t as humid as other places.

“My kids are happy because they get to spend more time outside now, and I’m happy because they get to spend more time outside now. Who doesn’t like the spring?”

The National Weather Service has indicated 2013 is off to the second driest start on record.

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