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Recent warm spell a welcome respite

March 01, 2004|by WANDA T. WILLIAMS

The last three weeks have brought some relief for area residents weary from the snow and cold.

Although this winter will be remembered for frigid temperatures, it still doesn't top the winter of 2003. Last year marked a notable drop in temperatures and a spike in snowfall, according to AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Bernie Rayno.

"Last winter was colder and snowier thus far," said Rayno, who pointed out that weather forecasters predicted this winter's low temperatures, along with snow, but not a repeat of 2003.

Also, last year's average temperature was 28.3 degrees, a significant departure from temperatures ranging in the mid- to high 30s between 1999 and 2002, Rayno said.

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The span between 1991 and 1996 brought harsh winter weather up and down the Eastern seaboard, "but like nature, the cycle reversed," Rayno said.

"From 1997 to 2002, it was milder and not much snow in the eastern U.S." he added.

Rayno said this weekend brought some of the nicest weather since early January. This week, area residents can expect mild temperatures heading into today, with a cold front moving through Tuesday and Wednesday.

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