Winter just isn't ready to let go yet, as Lexingtonians learned when they awoke Monday morning and found the city decorated in white.
Snow with additional accumulation is expected to continue Tuesday morning, with low temperatures to go with it. That's quite a change from this time last year.
The high temperature in Lexington on March 25, 2012, was a balmy 69 degrees Fahrenheit — 33 degrees above Monday morning's high of 36.
As you might remember, March 2012 was the warmest month of March on record in Lexington, with an average temperature of 56.3 degrees.
The "normal" average temperature for March in Lexington is 45.5, WKYT-TV meteorologist Chris Bailey said.
So far, the average for this March has been 39.0, a 17.3-degree drop from last year to this year.
For further comparison, the National Weather Service said that previous highs for March 25 included 39 degrees in 2011, 59 in 2010, 63 in 2009 and 58 in 2008.
If the chill continues just a few more days, March 2013 could go down as the 10th-coldest March on record here, Bailey said.
"We're literally at number 11 or 12 right now," Bailey said Monday. "We're going to stay in the 30s for highs right through Wednesday. So we have a real shot at cracking the top 10."
The city came off pretty well in Monday's snowfall. Streets and roads stayed generally free of snow, and the heaviest snow accumulation was in southeastern Kentucky.
"What we're getting really is a glancing blow from a very big late-March winter storm that started in the Colorado Rockies," Bailey said. "It will move through the Ohio Valley and into parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states later Monday and tomorrow."
Bailey predicted that Lexington could see another inch of snow as flurries continue into Tuesday, and cool weather could continue into April. When cold weather lingers into April in Kentucky, the weather often turns stormy in late April and early May, he said.
March is known for variable weather, but Bailey said that having the warmest March on record immediately followed by one of the coldest is unusual.
"There is no discernible trend as to whether it's getting warmer or colder, because this is one of those months where we do get lots of ups and downs," he said. "It just so happens that last year and this year are opposite ends of the spectrum."
Bailey said, however, that in recent years, "extremes are becoming the new normal" in weather.
This winter, the coldest weather has been concentrated in the latter part of the season, he said. For example, March so far has been colder than December 2012.
"Our winter definitely has been weighted toward the second half," Bailey said. "From about the second week of February until now, it's been consistently colder than normal."
Even though Lexington hasn't had any major snowstorms this winter, overall snowfall is running normal to above normal, according to Bailey.
"We haven't had a big snow, but we've had a lot of nickel and dime snows that have added up," he said. "From Lexington north, we are normal to above normal in snowfall now for the winter. If you get up to around Covington and places like that, they're pretty solidly above normal.
"But if you go south of Richmond, they're well below normal. So again, we're getting extremes, even in the same winter, occurring within about 100 miles."
Lexington's 10 coldest
Months of March
■ 29.7 degrees, 1960
■ 34.8, 1947
■ 35.8, 1906
■ 35.9, 1915
■ 36.7, 1926
■ 37, 1932
■ 37.7, 1896
■ 37.9, 1965
■ 37.8, 1931
■ 38.5, 1941Source: WKYT-TV meteorologist Chris Bailey
Jim Warren: (859) 231-3255.