MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — After churning out 154.9 inches of snow in a little more than three months, winter here has sputtered to an early end with perhaps a final hurrah this weekend, base weather officials said.

“We were on track to get 180 inches,” said Capt. Robert Nelson, Weather Operations Flight commander for the 35th Operations Support Squadron.

Mother Nature had other plans.

The last snow as of Friday was a trace on March 7. Average highs in March have been about 10 degrees above average — 53 degrees — with the Japan Meteorological Association forecasting springtime in northern Japan to be warmer and wetter than typical, Nelson said.

This year’s winter, however, was no walk on the beach. Snowfall was the 10th highest accumulation since the military began keeping records at Misawa in 1945, more than twice as much as last year’s 75.7 inches, but well below the 1983-84 record of 239.4 inches.

Average snowfall in Misawa is 125 inches.

Though temperatures have climbed into the 50s already, winter’s last gasp may be this weekend, Nelson said. Temperatures are forecast to dip into the low 30s accompanied by possible flurries, he said.

But the good news for the winter-weary: “We average 3.1 inches of snow in April,” Nelson said. “This year we don’t expect any snow in April.”

Summing up the snow

This winter’s snowfall total: 154.9 inches

Highest snowfall this winter in one day: Jan. 24, 13.4 inches

First snowfall of the season: Nov. 22, 11.8 inches

Last snow of the year: A trace, March 7

Average snowfall for Misawa: 125 inches

Record (since 1945): 239.4 inches in 1983-84 winter

Source: U.S. Air Force

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Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

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