This week feels like spring, but winter's probably not done yet

Flowers are starting to bloom, but is spring finally here?

Knoxville — Could this warm weather mean spring has sprung early?

It was a beautiful day, and we could see record highs Tuesday, but don't put away your coats and boots just yet.

"What a start to the week," said 10News Chief Meterologist Todd Howell.

The Monday blues were warmer than usual Monday.

"We had mid-70s today, and that was even a little bit warmer than we thought it may start off with," said Howell.

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75 degrees sounds like spring weather--nearly a record high for Knoxville.

"You know a lot of people would say, low to mid 70s for highs, low to mid 50s for lows, perhaps," said Howell.

But Howell says we need to be careful about sending winter to an early grave.

"Is it going to turn cold? Are we done with the snow? It's expected to turn cold," he said.

The cold's probably coming back around.

"It typically wants to balance out. If you've been one way for awhile, it wants to go the other way a lot of times. Very warm in February, don't be surprised if it turns sharply colder at least for part of March," said Howell.

That back and forth mirrored what we saw in 1993 — and we all know what happened then.

"10 days before spring, the Blizzard of '93. The superstorm," said Howell.

Warm energy from the gulf caused 15 inches of snow in 24 hours.

"The ideal scenario, that even in March, and it was technically still winter, but still, one of the biggest storms this area's ever seen," said Howell.

It's a storm most flowers would like to avoid.

"They're getting the heat in the soil, which signals those bulbs to sprout," said UT Extension agent Neal Denton.

Denton said the ones that sprout early can usually handle the cold weather, like tulips or daffodils.

"You may not get the bloom life you would've had, but basically, they're resistant," said Denton.

He said if the plants weren't watered well during the dry period last fall, the winter weather hits them harder.

"It's really a little early to tell, unless it's an evergreen, what has really been hurt and what hasn't," said Denton.

Howell said since these warm spells happen every year, and most of the plants seem to know to hold off on blooming.

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