The term isn't one meteorologists use often, but this winter has been ... weird.

Consider last week. One day it was summer-like and the kids were playing in the yard without jackets. The next day they were making snow angels.

For those of you confused about the seasons - and that's most of us - tomorrow officially is the first day of spring.

We're sure the rollercoaster weather ride isn't over, but at least now we can begin planning ways to enjoy some of the best weather our region has to offer annually.

Spring is a beautiful time of the year, but...

Spring - especially early spring - can be one of the most dangerous times of the year in the Courierarea. The remainder of March and April are the times when our weather is the most volatile and deadly.

With that in mind it's always a good idea to take a short refresher course on dealing with the severe weather that seems to arrive annually with the daffodils.

High winds - specifically tornadoes - and high water can be extremely dangerous in the Ohio River Valley. Failing to respect either is foolish.

It won't be long before those emergency sirens will be sounding out warnings of impending dangerous weather.

In addition to listening for the sirens and learning what they mean, you can take other precautions in the event that you find yourself in the path of severe storms or tornadoes.

• Buy a weather scanner that broadcasts National Weather Service alerts and pay attention and respond to those warnings and watches.

• In the event of a tornado warning, go to a basement or interior room on the lowest floor of your building. Stay away from glass and avoid rooms with wide spans of roof that might be prone to lift off or collapse.

• If you are in a vehicle or mobile home, leave immediately and seek refuge in a more solid structure or lie flat on the ground in a ditch.

• Stay away from all downed utility lines to avoid the risk of shock or electrocution and report any downed lines to authorities as soon as possible.

Water is perhaps more dangerous than high wind. Avoid swollen streams or rivers or flooded roadways. They are a recipe for disaster whether you're in a vehicle or on foot.

Spring truly can be the most enjoyable season in the Courierarea. Observe these precautions and it can also be a lot more safe.

But just in case ... don't put away that snow shovel quite yet.