Several snow systems over the past few weeks have cause snow to pack up. While warmer weather is on the way, it will take some time for the snow to melt. (DHI Media/Jim Langham)
Several snow systems over the past few weeks have cause snow to pack up. While warmer weather is on the way, it will take some time for the snow to melt. (DHI Media/Jim Langham)

VAN WERT – For several days, specialists from the National Weather Service have been predicting a gradual warming trend for much of this week. While that pattern will start to take shape near the weekend, it will be slow to come because of the 12-inch snow pack that was still on the ground going into the week.

“It’s amazing how much difference an ongoing heavy blanket of snow can make over a period of time,” said weather specialist Rick McCoy. “With the ground blanketed for most of February and especially heavy over the last week following last Monday night’s 10.5-inch snowstorm, the air is quite saturated with coldness from the ground up.”

Still, weather specialists continue to anticipate milder air gradually moving into the area, following Sunday night’s overall moderation to 35 degrees and following night-time temperatures dropping to single digits at night over most of the last week.

“A much milder pattern is ahead this week as an upper low and trough amplifies over western North America,” said weather officials. “This pattern will cause a high zonal/west to east upper flow to develop that will prevent arctic air from reaching the forecast area.

“At the onset earlier this week, deep snow cover will take some time to melt and will help temper highs from rising above the lower 40’s until this coming weekend,” commented weather service officials. “We have raised the prediction for temperatures by three to four degrees Saturday with the likelihood of the loss of most snow cover south of Highway 30.”

Many area farmers have mixed feelings over the heavy snow cover with the realization that there is going to be a goodly amount of moisture to soak into the ground once the snow melts, depending on the type of ground. Others are thankful for the heavy snow across the pending wheat, especially as protection from the extremely cold temperatures over the past couple of weeks.

Weather officials won’t venture as to whether March 1 (Monday) will come in like a lion or a lamb, although Saturday and Sunday they are anticipating Sunny skies with highs in the mid-40’s.

Average high temperatures for the first few days of March range in the low 40’s while warming to the low to mid 50’s by the first of April. Currently, there is no moisture predicted for the rest of this week.