Capital Region

Spring is here, so are ice cold temps

Latest snow storm expected to miss Capital Region
This man was still bundled up in winter clothing while crossing Hamilton Street in Schenectady on Monday.
This man was still bundled up in winter clothing while crossing Hamilton Street in Schenectady on Monday.

Spring arrives at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, but for some areas of the Northeast, the change of seasons will bring more wintry weather. 

Snow will come with a storm system predicted to develop Tuesday and continue into Wednesday, though meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Albany expect the Capital Region to be spared.

Unseasonably cold temperatures will remain through Wednesday, though.

“We’re 10 to 15 degrees below normal for averages,” said meteorologist Joe Cebulko.

For Mid-March, meteorologists said, daytime high temperatures are generally around 45 degrees. High temperatures for Tuesday and Wednesday are expected to be 37 and 36 degrees, respectively. Thursday and Friday high temps will be in the low 40s.

Meteorologists are still compiling data to determine how cold March has been, compared with past Marches.

The storm system will be on the move from the mid-Atlantic Coast but is expected to move off to the east.

“We could see some late snow showers during the day Wednesday,” Cebulko said. “As of right now, we’re not expecting any accumulating snow with this storm.”

Parts of Ulster and Dutchess counties will receive more, as will other parts of the Northeast.

“It looks like to our south and east — Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts — it looks like somebody is going to get a pretty good amount of snow,” Cebulko said.

Weather watchers cautioned that if the storm tracks farther northwest, the Capital Region could see more white in an already snowy March.

“That’s really a low-confidence forecast right now,” Cebulko said.

According to National Weather Service records, the 36 inches of snow that have fallen this month so far makes it the third-snowiest March on record.

The snowiest was in 1888, when 50.9 inches of snow was recorded. Most of that came on March 11-14, from a storm that dropped 46.7 inches on the region. That blizzard is regarded as the largest in Capital Region history.

The second spot on the all-time snowy March list is 1916, when 37.9 inches of snowfall were recorded.

While March can deliver the winter goods, the 10 largest storms of the month have always taken place in the first half of the month. One late storm people might remember took place March 31, 1997, when 14.6 inches of snow fell.

While cross-country ski centers reported great March business, hardware store managers also said the white stuff put seasonal green into their cash registers.

“Early on, it was good, it was real good,” said Mike Aragosa, vice president of Marty’s True Value Hardware in Schenectady. “Snowblower sales went really well early. We sold a lot of rock salt in January and February.”

The store moved rock salt in November and December, too. Aragosa said Marty’s sold 9,790 bags (50 pounds each) of rock salt, including some to contractors who buy by the pallet, during the winter season.

People also needed insulation material for water pipes. They wanted electric heaters.

“I’ll bet we sold 180 units this year,” Aragosa said.

He suspects people will start thinking about outdoor projects once the weather gets warmer.

“It’s got to end so we can sell grass seed and rakes,” Aragosa said of the winter cold. “But we had a good season.”

Meteorologists cautioned that, just because March is nearing its end, snowstorms can still surprise in April. The top April snowstorms, according to the weather service, are:

1. April 6-7, 1982 – 17.7 inches

2. April 9, 2000 – 13.3 inches

3. April 1-2, 1924 – 13.0 inches

4. April 8-10, 1974, 11.3 inches

5. April 3, 1891, 11.0 inches

6. April 19, 1983, 8.8 inches

7. April 8-11, 1907, 8.4 inches

8. April 9-10, 1979, 7.6 inches

9. April 3-4, 1955, 7.2 inches

10. April 13-14, 1950, 6.9 inches

11. April 10-11, 1942, 6.9 inches

“The winter is not over,” said meteorologist Tom Wasula. “We’ve had some big storms in our history that have occurred in late March, and we have some some really big ones in April.”

People can generally put away their shovels on April 15.

“It’s just about over by tax day,” Wasula said.

Reach Daily Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 518-395-3124 or [email protected]

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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