After a week that included balmy temperatures in the 70s, cool days like one would see in the fall and tornado warnings and storms typical of spring, Portage County residents got a stark reminder March 3 that it is still winter in Northeast Ohio.
White-out conditions greeted many motorists at mid-morning March 3. For many in Portage County, that squall came after more than 3 inches of snow fell overnight.
No serious traffic crashes were reported, but the weather was a drastic change from just a week ago, when temperatures reached the mid-70s.
Local meteorologist Thomas Schmidlin said he measured 4.5 inches of snow at his weather station in Kent on March 3, including 3.5 inches that fell overnight. Another inch fell Friday morning. Some places in Northeast Ohio measured 6 inches, he said.
He said the combination of snow and severe weather actually isn't all that unusual for March. "It's been more of a spring weather pattern actually," he said.
While meteorologists usually consider "winter" to consist of December, January and February, that only means that any snow that falls is not expected to last. Snowfall, even after the first day of spring in late March, is not unusual for the area, he said.
Recent years, he noted, have brought blizzards in early March, and the home opener for the Cleveland Indians being canceled because of snow. Some might remember a snowfall in May last year.
Schmidlin said the days ahead are expecting to bring a calmer weather pattern, with temperatures back up to the 60s and any snow from Friday's squalls melting. Rain and wind also are in the forecast, he said.