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Published: Sunday, 4/24/2005

2-3 inches of snow likely this weekend

FROM BLADE WIRE AND STAFF REPORTS

DETROIT - More than a month after spring's official start, old man winter is coming back to the Midwest for a visit.

Snow began falling in parts of the region yesterday, with up to 1 foot expected in eastern Michigan and parts of northern Ohio tonight, according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures will be well below normal, with a freeze warning this morning for much of Ohio and winds gusting to 35 mph.

Spring began on March 20.

Total snow accumulation forecasts varied considerably throughout yesterday. Early in the day, the National Weather Service forecast for northwest Ohio was calling for a total of 8-12 inches through today. However, that prediction was reduced late in the day to a total of 2-3 inches over the same period. Rain will be mixed with the snow today amid breezy conditions as the temperature hovers between 30 and 40.

Detroit and surrounding communities were expected to get 5 to 8 inches through today. Eight to 12 inches was expected in the Michigan Thumb by the end of the weekend.

In Detroit yesterday, snow was mixed with rain for much of the morning, but it had changed over to snow before noon. The Detroit Tigers postponed their afternoon game against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park, while multiple college baseball and softball games across southeast Michigan were also postponed or canceled.

The rain-snow mix didn't prevent people from flocking to an Ohio State spring football game in Columbus. Fans wore ponchos over their winter coats and drank coffee to try to stay warm.

Joe Drummelsmith, whose son is a redshirt freshman linebacker for the Buckeyes, shivered as he ate a hot dog in front of a concession stand.

"Last year we got sunburned it was so hot. This is pretty nasty, but it's worth it. It almost feels like fall," he said.

Snow is unusual in April but not unheard of, said Don Hughes, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Wilmington, Ohio.

For example, Dayton received measurable snow in April 50 times in the last 130 years, Mr. Hughes said.



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