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      Pre-St Patty's Day Meltdown: March 1995

      A snowy period in early March 1995 was caused by a southwesterly flow with waves of low pressure coming out of a trough anchored over the Rockies.

      One of the big early-spring meltdowns occurred 19 years ago during mid-March 1995. The winter was a short one; there was no snow on the ground at Christmas; a decent snow cover wasnâ??t established until later January and then it warmed dramatically during the second week of March and the snow disappeared.

      There was a â??flurryâ?? of snow systems in early March 1995. Over a five-day period, three feet of snow fell at the National Weather Service (NWS) near Negaunee. On March 9, there was a 37-inch snow cover and then the cold, stormy pattern gradually reverted into a warm spring one over the next week (Images 1 & 2 above). From March 11-15, the mean temperature was 25.6 degrees above average. On three consecutive days, high temperatures reached 60 or above. March 13 was the warmest day of the stretch with a high of 67 and a low of 44. The snow cover dwindled from 37 inches to only an inch of crusty snow with many bare spots by March 20.

      The rest of March 1995 was rather mild; the month as a whole ended 4.6 degrees above average. The spring did not continue on a warm note, however. April 1995 brought a historic late-season arctic blast to begin the month and came in 5.2 degrees below average.

      March 2014 continues the cold theme of the past winter. The mean temperature is around 10 degrees below average and more negative anomalies will be piled on this weekend as an arctic high pressure area settles into the Upper Great Lakes. Temperatures will moderate modestly early next week and there still is a chance of a significant snowfall in the Tuesday-Wednesday period next week.