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Published: Monday, 4/25/2005

What spring? 4" of snow coat Toledo area

BY LUKE SHOCKMAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Spring is overrated.

Just ask Parker Brainard. Parker, 9, spent yesterday snowboarding down a hill in Perrysburg during an unusual storm that dumped 4 inches of snow in the Toledo area.

That bumps our previous season snow total from 52 inches to 56 inches and makes this the eighth-snowiest season ever. So far.

"I think the snow is great," Parker said as he dodged a snowball from another youngster. "We can finally have a snowball fight."

"I love it. It doesn't bother me a bit," his mother, Mary Brainard-Thomas said - as she sat in a warm vehicle watching her son slide down the hill. Real tough, Mom.

Though there was plenty of grumbling from folks who were still getting over sunburns from the 80-degree temperatures a few days ago, most people seemed to be taking the snowstorm in stride.

Andrea Monoky of Toledo spent some time playing platform tennis at Inverness Country Club.

"First we were going to play golf, then regular tennis, then we realized we couldn't play either of those," she said.

The warmth of a pathway in Ottawa Park keeps the surface free of snow. The rest of the snow is expected to melt away today.
The warmth of a pathway in Ottawa Park keeps the surface free of snow. The rest of the snow is expected to melt away today.
RUGGIERO Enlarge

She said playing tennis while the snow was falling was fun.

"I thought all the snow was beautiful," she said.

No shoppers at The Andersons in West Toledo were asking for snow shovels or salt, according to the store manager.

Instead, many shoppers were busy looking for garden supplies. Kathi VanHuysen of Sylvania was one of them. She looked at the situation as the glass being half full, even if it was half full of snow.

"The moisture feeds all the flowers," she said as she filled her cart with potting soil and other gardening supplies. "This snow hasn't stopped us at all."

It certainly didn't slow down John Bragg and his two daughters, Julia, 7, and Jessica, 5.

The trio constructed a large snowman in their front yard in Perrysburg. But they were apparently a little rusty, and their snowman soon tumbled over from the heavy, wet snow.

"This is crazy. Last weekend we needed suntan lotion at the park," Mr. Bragg marveled as he watched the snow coat his front yard.

Though "crazy" isn't an official meteorological term, forecasters did agree it was unusual to get several inches of snow this late in April.

"It's not unusual to get some snow in April, but I went back 10 years and most of the snow recorded was a trace or just a small accumulation," said John Dlugoenski, meteorologist with AccuWeather Inc., a private forecasting firm in State College, Pa.

"So, this is definitely unusual to get this much," the meteorologist said.

What happened? Mr. Dlugoenski said a low pressure storm system came through and collided with cold air out of Canada.

The storm system parked itself in Ontario and it continued to draw down cold air and that forced the moisture to drop as snow instead of rain.

Clyde and Sandusky were coated with 6 inches.

For as heavy as the snow looked yesterday, it caused minimal problems.

The ground was warm enough that it didn't accumulate on roadways. Joe Rutherford, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Transportation, said about half of the state's fleet of trucks was out salting overpasses, bridges, and intersections as a preventive measure in case temperatures dropped below freezing.

But he said the crews didn't have to clear any snow.

"This would be a full-throttle weather event if this was January," he said, but all in all, the snowfall turned out to be a pretty tame situation do deal with.

Toledo police, however, had their hands full. Five people were treated for minor injuries after a two-vehicle collision on I-75 northbound near the downtown exit, Toledo police said.

Sgt. Richard Murphy said a woman driving a rental car about 12:30 p.m. lost control of her vehicle on the freeway, slid and hit a van with a driver and four passengers.

Identifications of those treated were not immediately available. Police said that some were treated at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center. Sergeant Murphy said the accident slowed traffic on the interstate for about 40 minutes. He said many motorists were driving too fast for the snowy conditions.

The situation got bad enough that police went to "phase 2," meaning they only responded to accidents in which injuries were involved and told drivers to exchange insurance information and head to a police station to make a report.

Unfortunately for snow enthusiasts like Parker, yesterday was probably the last shot of winter this year, Mr. Dlugoenski said. Highs today through Friday should be in the mid-50s, with lows in the low 40s, but no snow is expected, he said.

Staff writer Clyde Hughes contributed to this report.

Contact Luke Shockman at:

lshockman@theblade.com

or 419-724-6084.



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