By DENISE GRANT
Spring arrives today, despite the weatherman’s chilly forecast.
The official time of the spring equinox is 12:57 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time. Equinox means “equal night” in Latin. The equinox occurs twice a year when the sun is directly over the equator.
Alex Sosnowski, a senior meteorologist with AccuWeather, The Courier’s weather service, predicts a new surge of arctic air will enter the Upper Midwest by the weekend.
“It is almost unthinkable, but it appears that a flow of air straight from the Arctic will develop again,” said
Mark Paquette, AccuWeather’s long-range weather expert. At its peak, AccuWeather expects that temperatures will be 15 to 30 degrees below normal, and will struggle to get above freezing.
Sosnowski said recurring cold weather is likely to persist into the first part of April and will cause difficulties for collegiate and high school baseball games, soccer, golf, lacrosse, track and field, and other outdoor sporting activities.
There is even a chance for another large snowstorm before winter finally calls it quits, according to AccuWeather.
Give it just a few more inches, and this winter could rank among Findlay’s top 10 for the most snowfall, according to David Beach, director of the Findlay Water Pollution Control Center, which keeps the city’s weather records.
So far this month, the center has measured 4.8 inches of snow. The record snowfall for March is 16.5 inches, set in 1906. That monthly record may be out of reach, but the seasonal total is piling up. As of Wednesday, the center had measured 43.4 inches of snow for the season, October through March. Tenth place belongs to the winter of 1920-21, with 43.5 inches.
First place belongs to the winter of 1977-78, which included a blizzard. It snowed 72 inches from October through March, according to center records.
The center has been maintaining Findlay’s weather records since 1894.
There is a bright spot to the less-than-sunny forecast.
Sosnowski said the cooler temperatures should keep severe weather, like thunderstorms and tornadoes, at bay until at least May.
“This year, the ground is colder, the Great Lakes have an extensive amount of ice and the Gulf of Mexico waters are starting off colder than average,” said Paul Pastelok, a long-range forecast team leader for AccuWeather. “All of these can have a negative impact on temperatures in the lower atmosphere.”
He said to expect a spike in severe weather in May and June, when warm weather finally arrives.