Traverse City Record-Eagle

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March 20, 2013

Snow, not sun, rings in spring

TRAVERSE CITY — Spring may officially start today, but winter will stick around a little longer.

Allen and Valerie Medlin bundled up Tuesday and braved the cold and snow in downtown Traverse City. The vacationing Kalamazoo couple set their weather hopes far below the 80-degree temperatures recorded at this time last year.

“I was hoping today would get to 30 (degrees), but I don’t think it’ll get there,” Valerie Medlin said.

The weather isn’t going to change much just yet. The Grand Traverse region remains under a winter weather advisory until 8 p.m. Thursday. Some areas may accumulate up to a foot of snow and motorists are being warned that wind gusts could create drifts and hazardous road conditions.

Scott Rozanski, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said Tuesday morning that overnight snowfall was generally 3 to 4 inches, with some places getting as much as 6 or 7 inches.

“It’s all lake effect basically,” he said. “If we didn’t have lakes, it would be all sunny and cold.”

Rozanski said between 2 and 3 inches of lake-effect snow is likely to fall daily until Friday.

Traverse City resident Ann Ritzel said people can “forget how to drive” when snowy weather hits in early spring. She found that wasn’t the case Tuesday.

“It’s good today compared to last week,” she said.

It wasn’t a good day for everyone. Grand Traverse Central Dispatch reported multiple cars sliding off roads early Tuesday. Director Jamel Anderson said that wasn’t unusual considering the weather.

“It’s pretty much business as usual,” she said.

This weekend, skies should clear with temperatures reaching the mid-30s, Rozanski said. More cold and snow are likely next week. It seems northern Michigan’s winter weather patterns may be returning to normal after recent years with little lake-effect snow.

“What’s surprising about it is we’re getting winter and it’s coming late,” he said.

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