The Farmers’ Almanac describs weather folklore as more colorful than accurate, but Myron Padgett of the National Weather Service office in Wilmington told The Times-Gazette that the venerable magazine may be more correct than it realizes with the arrival of March.
“The old adage says ‘if March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb,” he said. “Our forecasting tools are limited to a seven-day range, but I will tell you, it’s going to come in like a lion with some really cold temperatures here in the next few days.”
Padgett said temperatures will be lower than normal with highs in the 20s and nighttime lows in the single digits for the start of the work week, but nothing that really could be considered record-breaking.
“Most of the record low temperatures are sub-zero,” he said. “One day has the record low at just 1 degree above zero, so given the present weather pattern it’s unlikely we’d be looking at that low a temperature, and certainly nothing in what would be considered the record-breaking range.”
The Farmers’ Almanac has been around since 1818, and has predicted that the first weekend of March will start out sunny then turn “cloudy with balmy breezes.” But the weather service prediction called for cloudy skies and warmer Saturday with a high near 50, and for Sunday, Padgett predicted a wintry mix with snow accumulations.
The weather system responsible for March coming in like a lion is an area of low pressure predicted to make landfall on the west coast Saturday morning and then move eastward over the weekend, eventually bringing what The Weather Channel described as “moderate snowfall” into the Ohio Valley.
While most meteorologists have held back on any definite snow fall predictions as the system develops, Cincinnati TV station WLWT predicted as much as six inches in accumulation for its viewing area, which includes Highland County.
“It looks very likely that we’re going to have some accumulating snow and it’s still uncertain how much at this point,” Padgett said. “There’s some variation in the data since the system involved is still far away, but it looks pretty certain we can expect some accumulating snow starting early Sunday morning and ending by Sunday night.”
Sandi Duncan, managing editor of The Farmers’ Almanac, said their weather predictions are made nearly two years in advance and consider a variety of influences.
“We use a mathematical and astronomical formula that takes things like sunspot activity, tidal action of the moon, position of the planets, and a variety of other factors into consideration,” she said. “This formula is based on proprietary factors and dates back to 1818 with a few changes to the formula, but not too much.”
She said The Farmers’ Almanac is predicting that the month of March in Highland County and southwest Ohio is “coming in like a lion and going out like a lion.”
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.