Forecasts now hinting at more snow for northern Ohio near Easter

CLEVELAND - Back in February, I wrote about the prospects of a colder than normal March.

The signs were all there. We are seeing ocean and atmosphere patterns nearly identical to those of the 1950s. Back then, most March months were cold, with a few interesting snowstorms. So far, March 2013 has not bucked the trend.

The rest of March should see temperatures average well below normal. Normal highs hit 50 degrees by the end of the month. We'll be lucky to creep into the 40s for a day or two before April 1.

On top of that, a few computer forecasts are starting to grapple with the issue of snowfall through the end of next week.

Another major snowstorm will likely batter the Plains states and western Great Lakes this weekend and early next week. More heavy snow and blizzard conditions are likely from Kansas to Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Severe thunderstorms are also possible closer to the Gulf Coast early next week.

Once again, northern Ohio could feel some effects from this storm. One forecast (The Global Forecasting System or GFS), suggests the storm in the Plains will head directly toward Ohio late Sunday night and Monday morning. It predicts a swath of 3-to-6-inch snowfall across our area by noon Monday.

I've included a graphic in the photo section of this story up and to the left (courtesy WeatherBell Analytics) which shows what I'm talking about. This is not set in stone just yet, as other computer forecasts have the snow moving up into lower Michigan and Chicago. Yep. It could just barely miss us again.

The biggest storms this winter have all missed us. That's been the story of our winter so far: heavy snows to our west, south and east. We've been the snowless donut hole in the middle.

We'll be keeping a close eye on Monday and Monday night, just in case the surface low pressure decides to run the Ohio River Valley, as I mentioned above. 

But, winter won't be done next week.

Forecasts are hinting at another winter storm closer to the 28th or 29th of March. A few snow printouts are quite impressive for us. One model prints out 4 to 10 inches of snow for northern Ohio by Easter weekend. Before you start to panic, this is just one possible scenario. It's not time yet to start gassing up the snow blowers.

My point is: Winter is not over by a long shot and active winter weather will continue to affect much of the eastern half of the United States through at least early April. Of course, there is always a chance that our snowless donut hole could get filled in with the next blast of heavy snow.

We will be watching it carefully. I'll have my exclusive spring 2013 forecast on NewsChannel5 at 11 p.m. I hope you will tune in. Until then, stay warm.

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