Grant Johnston, NBC 5 Meteorologist
This past winter was pretty rough -- let's bring in Spring!
Spring officially arrives just before noon Thursday after a long, cold winter in North Texas.
Visitors at the Dallas Arboretum marked the arrival of spring early Wednesday at the 30th annual “Dallas Blooms” celebration.
The Dallas Arboretum said they will keep the spring festival open until April 20, thanks to sponsors such as Bank of America.
"We are grateful to Bank of America as the presenting sponsor to be able to offer this gift to the city," said Dave Forehand, Dallas Arboretum's vice president of gardens and guest services.
Due to recent bad weather and cold temperature, Forehand said, they will extend the festival until Easter weekend.
“It was extreme, very extreme,” said visitor Diane Maddox. “We did not like it and I will not complain about the heat this summer.”
A December ice storm left North Texas roads covered in “cobblestone” ice that made driving a rocky, slippery ordeal.
State highway workers resorted to using road graders to scrape up the ice.
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport recorded and extra $2 million in December ice storm related expenses.
Massive flight cancellations from several winter weather events caused big inconvenience.
Winter electric usage was extremely high. Texas consumers purchased the most winter electricity since 2002, according to state records.
School cancellations varied across North Texas. Fort Worth ISD canceled just two days in December. Denton ISD canceled school six days this winter. Two will be made up and Denton ISD is asking for a state waiver on making up the other four.
Dave Forthand, Dallas Arboretum Vice President of Gardens and Visitor Services, said his staff spent the winter preparing just the right plants to bloom early in spring.
“It was a remarkable winter so things that go dormant were very dormant this year," Forthand said. "They’re slowing starting to wake up. But things you see at the Arboretum were stacked and programmed through their genetics."
Arboretum visitors on the last day of winter said they appreciate the blooms.
“The flowers are a little misleading,” said visitor Greg Burnette. “You wouldn’t know it’s winter still.”