Saturday, February 28, 2004

Enjoy weekend, because March can play tricks



By Cliff Radel
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Warm weather and sunny skies will make this a good weekend to break out the old pill, dust off the mitt and throw some strikes in the back yard.

Or cool down over a cold one at today's Bockfest finale in Over-the-Rhine.

Just keep the winter coat handy. As well as the umbrella. Spring hasn't sprung just yet. Opening Day's still 38 days away.

And trying to project how March weather will unfold is dicey business, weather experts say.

Clear skies and warm weather (in the upper 50s) are forecast for today. Some clouds could move in Sunday while the temperature moves to the lower 60s.

But rain appears on the horizon for the start of the workweek.

"Temperatures should continue to be above average through Tuesday," said Don Hughes, meteorologist for the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Wilmington, Ohio.

The normal high temperature for this time of year is 46. Normal low: 31.

Sunday's 60-degree weather won't set any record. The warmest Leap Year Day in Cincinnati occurred in 1972 when the thermometer reached 77.

Showers and thunderstorms are expected for Monday, the first day of March.

"But it won't be one of those 'March comes in like a lion, goes out like a lamb' kind of things," Hughes noted. The rains should be light, with temperatures in the 50s.

Scattered showers should make for a wet Tuesday and temperatures should start a slow decline.

"Tuesday will feel more seasonable," Hughes said. So, be prepared for a roller-coaster ride. "This is the season when the weather always "goes up and down."

Expect to see some of that action by mid-week. Lows should be in the upper 20s; highs in the low 50s.

E-mail cradel@enquirer.com




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