Storm fears prove to be exaggeration

WARREN – The great winter storm of the first weekend in March went out with a whimper, at least for residents of Trumbull and Mahoning counties.

Despite some predictions calling for snow accumulation ranging anywhere from 5 to 12 inches overnight, most in the area were greeted Sunday morning with 1 to 2 inches of dust.

While those in Central Ohio could be feeling the brunt of Winter Storm Titan, WYTV 33 News weekend meteorologist Ryan Halicki said that changes in the atmosphere spared most of northeast Ohio.

“Into the later part of the week, all of our computer models painted a swatch of snow from the south that was going to head directly over us,” Halicki said. “What ended up happening was a cold front that was slated to stall across the area was pushed further south (than was expected).

“We were on the northern end of (the cold front), so we got some snow, but not what was expected.”

Halicki said that the expected storm saw what was calculated as a 75- to 90-mile shift south away from Trumbull County.

While many predicted the area to be hit hard by Mother Nature, Halicki said that there never was a consensus from those who track weather for a living.

“Our computer models had a horrible handling of this storm from the get-go,” Halicki said. “We usually look for a cohesive agreement through all of our models when we make a forecast, but we never got a solid agreement about this system from our models. This was definitely among the more challenging storms we’ve had to deal with this winter season.”

If the area was blanketed, a number of area retailers said that the people of Trumbull County were well prepared for another round of snow.

“We defiantly ordered a lot more salt than we usually do,” a representative from the Howland Giant Eagle said. “Normally, we’re ordering five to 10 (bags) of salt at a time, but we ordered 35 from our supplier for this weekend’s weather.”

Kim Walker, a manager at the Parkman Road Sparkle Market, said that her store was picked over by shoppers looking to stock on up the basics.

“We always make sure to have salt for people’s sidewalks, but people really wanted the basic necessities,” Walker said. “When they were calling for weather like they were, people wanted to make sure that they had enough milk and bread and those type of things.”

In central and southern Ohio, ice and sleet Sunday morning triggered warnings of hazardous driving conditions, followed by snow that forecasters expected to total 1 to 6 inches.

Northern communities and much of the rest of the state faced bone-chilling temperatures late Sunday and early this week, with temperatures in low teens and single digits and wind chills well below zero.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.