The spring-like temperatures of Monday and Tuesday are forecast to give way to winter cold and a chance for measurable snowfall overnight Tuesday into Wednesday morning.
National Weather Service staff meteorologist Ashley Novak said measurable snowfall is defined as snow on the ground that measures at least one-tenth of an inch.
“It looks we’re going to have one last push of winter that will start Tuesday night with the cold air moving in,” she said. “We’ll have a strong cold front that will be moving through that will bring rain and then will transition Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning into snow before changing back into a cold rain later Wednesday.”
She said not to dig out the snow shovels or gas up the snow blowers since whatever snow Highland County might see would be mostly the light variety that could stick on grassy or elevated surfaces.
The weather service has a freeze watch posted for Wednesday morning since flowers are coming into full bloom, and many fruit producing plants and trees were starting to bud.
Forecasters indicated the watch could be extended since skies will clear after the front moves through bringing even colder lows for Thursday morning.
“This time of year, with it being springtime, we get these fluctuations in temperatures,” she said. “These extremes aren’t unusual for this region, and with the warm surfaces this time of year any snow we get is going to have a hard time accumulating. In Hillsboro and Highland County, we’re predicting maybe a tenth of an inch or two.”
She said the only way Highland County would set any kind of record would be if the area experienced a sudden, heavy burst of snowfall in the overnight hours Tuesday that would be sufficient to overcome the warmth of the ground, but meteorologists were not expecting anything along those lines.
The average snowfall for the month of April is around four-tenths of an inch, according to the National Weather Service. The last time southwest Ohio sees any snow, on average, is March 21.
However, local weather statistics indicated the latest snowfall on record was a May 9, 1923 surprise when Old Man Winter left a two-tenths of an inch calling card on Highland County lawns.
The last time it snowed in the area on April 21 was in 1901, when the archives of the weather service recorded 1.5 inches of snow on the ground.
Novak said that slightly warmer temperatures were in the forecast by week’s end, and with another weather system set to arrive Saturday, she said to expect widespread rain for the last Saturday of April.
In the eight to 14 day “crystal ball” forecast, she said the weather service is anticipating lower than normal temperatures for the final week of April into the first week of May.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.