Jason Fister from Lone Star Pawn Shop clears the sidewalk on Main Street in Xenia after a winter storm blew through the area earlie this winter. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

2 to 4 inches of snow possible across region in the next 48 hours

The first full day of spring is Wednesday, but you are more likely to be measuring snow than counting dandelions.

The forecast shows Tuesday’s wintry mix will switch over to snow by late afternoon or early evening, and the snowfall is expected to continue and accumulate through the night, said WHIO-TV’s Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell. He said that likely will make for a messy Wednesday morning commute.

The snow will accumulate Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

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Forecast models are showing a range of 2 to 6 inches of snow possible.

Elwell said total accumulations and percentage of likelihood include:

2 inches: 80 to 90 percent;

4 inches: 50 to 60 percent;

6 inches: 20 to 30 percent.

Before the snow, however, Tuesday morning will be better for drivers, Elwell said, “just because the ground is so warm starting out.”

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“As we go through the day, we expect that precipitation to start to change,” Elwell said. “Colder air will start to come in and gets wrapped into this system, so we’ll see that precipitation change from kind of a wintry mix and rain to snow.”

The transition likely will happen by late afternoon, Elwell said.

“Once that happens and we get past sunset tomorrow night, I anticipate that’s when things will go downhill pretty quickly,” Elwell said. “The ground initially starts out warm, but once we lose the heating of the day, the sun goes down, then we can start getting accumulations on roads.”

Elwell said if up to 6 inches of snow falls with this storm system, it will be the most significant snowfall of the season.

March brings signs of spring in Ohio, but Elwell said it is not unusual to get significant snowfall in March, either.

On March 7-8 in 2008, blizzard-like conditions brought more than a foot of snow across much of Ohio.

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