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A warm welcome for spring

BY LAUREL BLACK lblack@paducahsun.com

A harsh winter officially came to an end Thursday with a warm start of spring, but meteorologists say they can't be sure what weather is in store in the weeks ahead.    

With an average temperature of 33.1 degrees, the winter of 2013-2014 proved to be the ninth coldest for Paducah since 1937. The record average low came in the winter of 1977-1978, at 28.2 degrees, National Weather Service meteorologist Michael York said.

The season also ranked ninth in terms of snowfall with a total of 18.3 inches. The average is around 10 inches, he said.

According to the National Climatic Data Center, the nation as a whole experienced its 34th coldest winter on record and the coldest since the winter of 2009-2010.

But a cold, snowy winter doesn't necessarily make for a chilly or damp spring.

"There really isn't a correlation from season to season," York said. "It can change on a dime."

The high today in Paducah is expected to be well above normal with cooler air arriving this weekend.   

The Climate Prediction Center on Thursday released its seasonal outlooks for the nation. The outlooks provide information for April, May and June, all of which are likely to see near-normal temperatures and rainfall, York said. The center's seasonal outlooks do not include region-specific data.

Although spring will bring higher temperatures, it also is associated with severe weather, including floods and thunderstorms. May is traditionally considered peak tornado season. The weather service provides information on severe weather preparedness at www.weather.gov/safety.

Contact Laurel Black, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8641, or follow @LaurelFBlack on Twitter.

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