Spring is never more than weeks away, even as the cold north wind howls against the window and snowflakes float from the darkened sky above.

The longest distance between the first day of winter and the first day of spring is three months, or about 13 weeks.

If you are like me, you begin looking for signs of spring as soon as the Christmas decorations are back in the box and the closet.

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One very early sign of spring is the arrival of spring and summer clothing in the stores, although they may be there only to fill empty racks following a hearty Christmas shopping season.

When Massachusetts Can Expect To See First Signs Of Spring
Barry Richard/Townsquare Media

The first indicator I watch for is signs of life from Mother Nature; the Earth being reborn.

For me, that's the crocus.

BeverleyBees.com says, "Spring blooming crocuses emerge in the late winter and early spring, weeks before the other flowers are brave enough to show their pretty faces."

Crocuses will often break ground under the cover of dried leaves left over from the previous fall. I generally spot crocuses by the end of February.

Catherine Boeckmann writes for Almanac.com, "Even if it is still winter and the ground is covered in snow, observe closely! There are always subtle signs that spring is on the way."

When Massachusetts Can Expect To See First Signs Of Spring
Barry Richard/Townsquare Media

Boeckmann says, "Many migrating birds are arriving as many as two weeks earlier, compared to decades past (and some may never leave!)" She says, "In March, a chorus of birdsong fills the air as the migrating birds return."

Budding trees, running sap, and the sounds of peepers and frogs are other signs that spring is springing.

Mass Audubon says early signs of spring include the return of black-capped chickadees, blooming skunk cabbage, Mourning Cloak Butterflies on the wing, and the "quacking" of wood frogs.

I find that watching for signs of spring makes the final weeks of winter more bearable.

LOOK: The most extreme temperatures in the history of every state

Stacker consulted 2021 data from the NOAA's State Climate Extremes Committee (SCEC) to illustrate the hottest and coldest temperatures ever recorded in each state. Each slide also reveals the all-time highest 24-hour precipitation record and all-time highest 24-hour snowfall.

Keep reading to find out individual state records in alphabetical order.

Gallery Credit: Anuradha Varanasi

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