Sunday, March 9, 2003

High-60s weather just a memory today



By Maggie Downs
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Tristate residents experienced something oddly familiar Saturday.

Warmth.

Forecasters credited this unusual phenomenon to a southerly flow of air that swept through the region, allowing temperatures to rise well into the 60s.

In Cincinnati, the temperature climbed all the way to 68, making Saturday the warmest day of the year so far - quite a difference from the March mean temperature of 45.

The record for March 8 - 81 - was set in 1974. Locally, the temperate temps encouraged golfers to come out of hibernation, including 120 people who showed up for the first day of golf at the Vineyard in Anderson Township. Bad weather had forced the course to delay its original opening day, March 1.

"The weather has been so bad," said Eddie Bond, service specialist. "But today everyone came out smiling to enjoy the sunshine and the golf course."

But don't break out the beach chairs and boat drinks just yet.

Temperatures were expected to drop to the mid-20s Saturday night as a high-pressure system built across the region. Overnight showers were expected to turn to snow in some places.

Today, conditions will be cloudy and much colder, with a high in the mid-30s. Meteorologists expect temperatures to remain below normal the rest of the month.

"March is a funny month, because you'll get weird things like this," Mark Bacon, AccuWeather meteorologist, said. "There will be some warm spikes - but we think there will be more cold ones than warm ones, making the month colder than usual."

E-mail mdowns@enquirer.com

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