Thursday, October 05, 2000

Skip fall - it's straight to winter




By Michael D. Clark
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        It's barely fall but already the Tristate could face winter's wrath this weekend, as temperatures are predicted to drop below freezing.

[photo] Cool treats and short sleeves were fine Wednesday for Abby Schierman and grandma Eileen Anderson of Fort Wright at Covington's Dari-Crest. But not for long.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
| ZOOM |
        The slide toward winter-like conditions will begin Friday, with a raw northerly wind and falling temperatures. Freezing rain could arrive early Saturday, and snow flurries are not out of the question, according to the National Weather Service. Temperature and earliest-snow records might be broken.

        It will remain unseasonably cold through the weekend, with highs only near 40 degrees and overnight lows Saturday and Sunday of 25-30 degrees, according to the Weather Service office in Wilmington. Similar temperatures are forecast for Monday.

        “It is a pretty cold mass of air for this time of year,” AccuWeather meteorologist Scott Homan said. “Com pared to normal, this is pretty dramatic.” Normal highs and lows this time of year are 72 and 49.

FALLING RECORDS
    This weekend's unusually early cold and predicted snow might break Tristate records for earliest snow and lowest temperatures for Oct. 7-9. The records to date:
   • Earliest snow: Oct. 11, 1925.
   • Earliest measurable snow: Oct. 19, 1989.
   • Lowest temperature for Oct. 7: 27 degrees in 1979.
   • Lowest temperature for Oct. 8: 29 degrees in 1937.
   • Lowest temperature for Oct. 9: 31 degrees in 1951.

        Rain and thunderstorms are possible today, with highs in the mid-70s. Friday's high will struggle to reach the upper 50s, with a continued downward drop into evening.

        What's to blame? Those pushy Canadian cold fronts that periodically dip down into America's Midwest through the winter.

        But this year our neighbors to the north are exporting their frosty climate early, considering the fall season began Sept. 22 and winter doesn't officially arrive until Dec. 21.

        Greg Meyer, Ohio State University's agriculture extension agent for Warren County, said the biggest problem will be in pumpkin patches or apple trees.

        He recommends covering vine pumpkins with straw to protect them from the cold.

        Current weather radar at Cincinnati.com/weather




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