March storm made things slow and snowy

— By PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
The snowman made by William Schaeffer, 7, and his sister Elica, 3, was toppled by mid-afternoon.

Many people hope it was the last blast of winter, but for others it was a great day to enjoy snow, a rare occurrence this season.

Greencastle saw nearly 6 inches of the white stuff on Wednesday, March 6. It had been forecast to begin falling early Tuesday evening but actually began at 11:45 p.m. By then, the notice that Greencastle-Antrim School District would be closed on Wednesday had been out for hours, and many cancellations had been posted for the next day. Government offices and courthouses shut down, some stores in the region closed, evening church services were cancelled and activities were postponed.

Greencastle weather observer Robert Wertime termed the snowfall "a warm core, cold shield storm." It came in from the southeast, preceded by warm temperatures Tuesday, which made it difficult to believe a real storm was on its way. The area experienced 48 degrees and sunny skies before the weather pattern yielded to meteorologist predictions.

Wertime said it was a typical performance, with warm currents colliding with cold streams from the north.

"March is an extremely hard month to predict."

Wednesday the plows and shovels were out. The last flakes fell at noon, though initial reports were that they were supposed to last all day. Instead, the thermometer climbed to 42 degrees by 5:30 p.m., with snow melting fast. At midnight, the air still registered 39 degrees.

Its light density and sticky nature made it ideal for snowmen, though few lived through the day. By Thursday, most evidence of the white blanket was gone.