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Published: Saturday, 2/2/2008

Big storm forecast; little snowfall

BY MARK ZABORNEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Downtown Toledo was blanketed in white, albeit a rather thin layer compared to what meteorologists had predicted. Downtown Toledo was blanketed in white, albeit a rather thin layer compared to what meteorologists had predicted.
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The major winter-storm-that-wasn't ushered in February and left behind a month with wide variations in temperature and not much snow.

By late yesterday morning, the winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service for much of northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan was downgraded to a winter weather advisory set to expire at 7 last night.

But even the advisory was gone by late afternoon.

The storm had potential.

There was enough snow for a snowman on Maumee's Shelly Avenue where Taylor Monus, 17, carries Blake Olvear, 6. There was enough snow for a snowman on Maumee's Shelly Avenue where Taylor Monus, 17, carries Blake Olvear, 6.
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"The storm took a left-hand turn and came up through Indiana rather than Ohio, and that just shifted all the heavy snow about 100 miles west," said Sam Lashley, of the National Weather Service office for northern Indiana.

"That's the nature of winter storms, unfortunately," he said.

Parts of northeast Indiana and Branch County, Michigan, just west of Hillsdale County, got about 6 inches. Even parts of Lenawee County got about 5 inches.

Dundee and Samaria in Monroe County got 4 inches. The city of Monroe got 2 inches.

The weather service measured 2.4 inches of snow at Toledo Express Airport and received reports of 3 inches in Wood County's Grand Rapids and Van Wert County's Van Wert; 4 inches in Paulding County's Paulding and Henry County's Napoleon, and 5 inches in Fulton County's Wauseon and Defiance County's Hicksville.

Adams Street in downtown Toledo was snow-covered Friday morning. No major injury crashes were reported in the region. Adams Street in downtown Toledo was snow-covered Friday morning. No major injury crashes were reported in the region.
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But observers in Sandusky County's Clyde and Green Springs only measured a half-inch of snow.

Still, snow put a damper on the morning commute for many. Most school districts canceled classes.

The city of Toledo reported 48 snow plows cleaning the major streets as the snow began. Another 40 plows joined in about 11:30 a.m. to clean residential streets, said David Welch, Toledo's streets, bridges and harbor commissioner.

The Lucas County Sheriff's Office announced a Level 1 snow emergency alert at 5 a.m., warning motorists of hazardous driving conditions, including icy roads and blowing and drifting snow. Also under Level 1 snow emergency alerts were Fulton, Putnam, Seneca, and Williams counties.

No serious injury accidents were reported in northwest Ohio or southeast Michigan, but there were scattered reports of fender benders on slick roads.

Scott Wintner, a spokesman at Detroit Metropolitan-Wayne County Airport, said deicing caused minor morning delays.

Both he and Steve Arnold, director of operations and facilities for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, said weather conditions at other airports were causing some problems.

January was not among history's 10 warmest or coldest or snowiest or wettest, the weather service said.

But with 6.2 inches of snow, the month was 4.6 inches below the average January snowfall.

The average maximum temperature was 35.3 degrees; the average minimum was 19.5.

The mean temperature for the month was 3.5 degrees warmer than normal.

The warmest day was Jan. 7, when the high was 66. The coldest was Jan. 25, when it was 1.

Highs today will be in the mid-30s and tomorrow near 40, according to the weather service. Rain and snow showers are possible Monday morning, with highs near 45.

Staff writers Laren Weber and Mike Sigov contributed to this report.

Contact Mark Zaborney at:

mzaborney@theblade.com

or 419-724-6182.



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