Youngstown winter analyzed as warm, and, yes, snowy

If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes — it will change.

Ask anyone living in northeast Ohio, and he will tell you how true this statement is.

From March 20 to 22, Youngstown saw record high temperatures.

On Tuesday, however, the area was under a freeze warning.

Youngstown State University senior Alyssa Leith noticed something different this winter, but in a good way.

“The roads weren’t crappy,” Leith said. “It feels weird that we didn’t really have winter, but I’m not complaining.”

Bill Buckler, an assistant professor of geography at YSU, said it was the sixth warmest winter since the first recorded temperatures in 1897.

In the final Cleveland National Weather Service report, the average high temperature for the Youngstown area was 40.7 F, with an average low of 26.6 F.

This put the average temperature for the last three months 5.6 F above the normal 33.7 F. The normal averages are a 35 F high and a 21.3 F low, respectively.

“When we compare to normal, we’re comparing to the period from 1981 to 2010,” Buckler said.

While a lot of students enjoy snow for recreation, driving to school is a different story.

Freshman Anna Cioppa commutes daily to YSU from New Castle, Pa.

“Because I live 20 miles away, it was nice not to have to struggle driving in it,” Cioppa said.

The Youngstown and Warren areas were above normal snowfall this year. Between December and February, the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport received 49.9 inches of snow, which was 5.5 inches above the average.

Sophomore Chelsey Hammond said she had to carpool last winter because of all the snow, so she wasn’t upset with this year’s mild temperatures.

“I didn’t even have to wake up earlier to clean off my car every day. It was nice,” Hammond said.

Buckler explained that the warm winter weather was caused by a La Nina pattern in the Pacific Ocean, which forced the jet stream to dip in the western U.S. and in Europe for the majority of the winter. 

This caused the rest of the country to be under a ridge, allowing warmer southerly winds to advance northward.

Europe saw one of the coldest and snowiest winters in recent history. In fact, northern Italy reported its highest snow totals since the 1980s.

Senior Nate Demetra said he wasn’t worried about the winter. He’s more concerned with the upcoming summer.

“The biggest thing I’m worried about is an insect plethora in the summer,” Demetra said.