Mark Johnson: March will go out like a lamb, with a little bite in northern Ohio

CLEVELAND - Your shipment of spring weather has ben delayed.

I don't know if it has been lost in the mail or what. Maybe it was delayed by customs. Either way, spring weather will be late this year.

Currently, snow covers more than 47 percent of the United States. That's normal... For February. But this is March. During a normal late-March afternoon, you would only expect to have about 16 percent of the country covered in snow. So, our snow cover is three times that of normal right now.

What's more, as warm as March was last year, March 2013 has been almost as COLD. On Monday, only one single major U.S. weather-reporting station reported temperatures above normal in the lower 48. That station was in central California. As you can see in the image provided above, temperatures are averaging 10 to 20 degrees BELOW normal all the way down to the Gulf Coast.

For Cleveland, March temperatures, with just four days left in the month, are averaging a full 5 degrees below normal for the month. Akron and Canton are 3.5 degrees BELOW normal. Mansfield is 4 degrees under average.

And I don't see that changing much between now and April 1. Average highs for late March are in the lower 50s. Temperatures for the rest of the week will stay below normal, in the 30s and 40s. The only day that we'll reach normal is most likely Easter Sunday. I expect highs that day to grab close to 52 degrees.

The bad news is our cooler-than-normal weather will likely continue through at least the first half of April. After a brief visit with the 50-degree mark Sunday, colder temperatures will return for all of next week.

And yes, we'll be watching for more scattered snow showers leading up to Opening Day of Indians baseball season. 

Keep the coats handy until further notice.

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