Spring arrives with forecast of more snow, cold

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 | 5:38 p.m. CDT; updated 6:15 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, March 20, 2013

COLUMBIA — Spring began at 6:02 a.m. Wednesday, yet more winter weather lingers in the forecast.

Jayson Gosselin of the National Weather Service in St. Louis said temperatures are expected to remain 10 to 15 degrees below average for at least the next week to 10 days — and possibly two to three more weeks.

The cold start to spring stands in contrast to last year, when temperatures eclipsed the record high on March 19 and reached 81 degrees.

The average high temperature for March 20 in Columbia is 57 degrees, said Mark Britt, a forecaster for the National Weather Service in St. Louis. Wednesday's high was in the mid-30s.

In addition to having to endure cold temperatures, the Columbia area is on the northern edge of snowfall expected late Thursday into Friday with local accumulations of less than 1 inch expected, Gosselin said. More snow is expected in the Ozarks.

A more potent storm is on the horizon for the latter part of the weekend.

Significant snow is possible for Saturday night into Sunday, depending on the track of the storm and temperatures.

“The track and speed of this storm are really up in the air,” Gosselin said on Wednesday. “It looks like the type of storm that could put up a decent amount of accumulation.”

The storm will cover a broad geographic region, spanning from Chicago to the Deep South.

The 2013 winter in Columbia has already surpassed normal snowfall accumulations by 7.5 inches — and that number could go up.

Supervising editor is John Schneller:, 884-2103

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