Is Winter Finally Over?
By Story by AccuWeather.com's Gina Cherundolo and Carly Porter
March 11, 2010, 3:00:38 PM EST
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The eastern half of the nation has been hit by blizzard after blizzard, and with the official start of spring just days away, can we finally say farewell to old man winter?
AccuWeather.com meteorologists aren't ruling out another big winter storm completely, but they are calling it extremely unlikely.
"You can never rule out another winter storm, even into April," said Expert Senior Meteorologist Joe Lundberg.
Lundberg warns that a rainstorm or light snowstorm could be a definite possibility.
"Going forward, there will still be storms, as the southern branch of the jet stream will still be active," he said. "A snowstorm with hefty totals will be an extremely rare event, although it can happen."
Many meteorologists know of the April 28, 1928 winter event that brought 28 inches of snow through south-central Pennsylvania.
When Expert Senior Meteorologist Bob Larson brings up the '28 snowstorm, he can't help but think that we're not through with the snow this winter.
"I can't believe we're going to get out of this winter that easy," Larson said.
However, as spring approaches, the likelihood of another major snow-maker drastically decreases.
"Each passing day into March, it becomes harder and harder for snow to fall," Lundberg said.
According to Expert Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity, large snowstorms, such as the ones that hit the Northeast this year, actually mean that winter is ending.
"Winter ended with the Snowicane™," he said. "Big storms are an indication of an end to a pattern."
As warmer air comes along with the seasonal change into spring, arctic air sitting in northern Canada has a difficult time moving back down into the U.S.
"My hunch is that we may be at the end of winter snow events because of the lack of arctic air able to come down," said Expert Senior Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.
The snow cover over much of the Northeast is also diminishing more and more with each warm day.
"We're about to lose a lot of snow cover in the next five days, and this is a factor to keep in mind going forward," Lundberg said. "Once it is gone, it will be hard to get back."
Some businesses would like to see the arrival of spring. According to Business Week, some restaurant chains, including Burger King, Ruby Tuesday's and Hardee's, have reported third quarter decreases in sales, citing bad winter weather as the cause.
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