EXCLUSIVE: Spring to bring more cool, wet weather

CLEVELAND - Your EXCLUSIVE Power of 5 spring forecast calls for more cool, wet weather.

Warmer weather is on the way. I know that may seem far-fetched based on this past winter -- a winter that won't quit. It is inevitable. Warmer temperatures will move in to Northern Ohio. The grass will grow. The flowers will bloom.

But, will spring arrive quickly, in a blaze of sun and heat? Or, will it creep in and fight with winter for a few more weeks?

The answers are out there. For instance, the Great Lakes remain encrusted in ice. It's pretty late in the year to see this much ice still on the lakes. It will take many weeks to melt it all. Lake temperatures will likely stay cooler than normal through spring.

The Gulf of Mexico is also cooler than normal this year, thanks to several outbreaks of Arctic air that blasted all the way south to the Gulf Coast. A cooler-than-normal Gulf means less heat and humidity rising north to feed storms.

The third factor once again is cooler water near the Washington and Oregon Coast. This is known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Along with the PDO, we will likely see at least a weak El Nino form in the Central Equatorial Pacific.

Past years that had similar patterns were cooler than normal across the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley. These patterns also favor above normal spring precipitation.

As for severe weather, a cooler than normal Gulf of Mexico and Great Lakes should delay the start of severe weather season until late spring or summer here in Northern Ohio. Although, a strong low pressure system moving north out of the plains could pull enough heat and moisture in to give us a burst of strong storms. It would take a very strong low pressure to do this, a la May 31, 1985 or April 3, 1974. Lets hope that kind of system stays away!

BOTTOM LINE: Expect cooler than normal temperatures through May and early June. Expect rainfall to average near to above normal this spring. Expect a delayed start to severe weather season due to cool Great Lakes & Gulf of Mexico.

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