Wednesday, November 28th, 2012
By Shelley Grieshop
Local residents wonder if winter will freeze or tease
  Buzz Goodwin was feeling optimistic as a truckload of snowmobiles arrived at his business Tuesday morning.
Last winter Ski-Doo sales were as scarce as snow but this year surely will be different, he said.
"Enthusiasm is very high. There's been a lot of people in the door already," said Goodwin, co-owner of Bayview Sun & Snow Marina of Celina. "I'm thinking there's no way it will be as mild this year as last year."
Well, it might be.
"This winter may not be much different than last winter," said Myron Padgett, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington. "I don't think we're in for much snow, but it wouldn't take much to be worse than last year."
The Grand Lake area received 28 inches of snow last winter - the majority arriving in January and February. But the unusually warm temperatures kept it from sticking around long.
Will there be a repeat? Padgett admits it's difficult to accurately forecast too far into the future. But by monitoring factors like oceanic temperatures and jet streams, meteorologists often can predict extreme weather patterns weeks and even months in advance, he said.
So far, there's no indication that extreme winter weather will come our way.
"I think it'll probably be slightly warmer than normal, but there will be some point where cold temperatures will arrive," Padgett said. "Your area usually averages about 30 inches of snow each winter. Hopefully you won't get that much."
Sales of snowblowers are lagging at Prenger Implement in Minster, co-owner Ken Prenger said Tuesday. But that's expected following a mild winter, he added.
"Last year we started selling them in August; the previous winter we sold out," he said, referring to the harsh 2010-2011 season. "Truth is, snow sells snowblowers. People remember."
Postal worker Duane Brunswick delivered mail in a quiet neighborhood in St. Marys on Tuesday as temperatures eased into the mid-30s. Just because he works in the rain, snow, sleet and hail doesn't mean he wants to, he said. His wish for this winter season?
"Same as last year," he said with a grin.
Not everybody shutters at the thought of icy roads and snow drifts.
"I want some snow," Celina High School sophomore Evan Oglesbee said as he made his way home from classes Tuesday afternoon. "A pretty good amount, too, so school gets canceled."
It doesn't look like the teen will get his wish anytime soon. High temperatures will continue to rise all week and reach into the 50s by the weekend.
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