Spring snowfall in parts of northern U.S. follows mild winter of canceled ski trips and festivals

  A gull leaves fresh tracks in a smattering of wet snow Friday in Wauconda, which saw more than an inch of early spring snow. Brian Hill/
  An ATV rider travels through the fresh snow at the Lakewood Dog Exercise Area Friday near Wauconda. Brian Hill/
  Cars are covered with a dusting of wet snow Friday in Wauconda. Brian Hill/

After a season with very little snow, a blast of snowy weather could dump a foot or more in some northern states, just as spring officially arrives.

Parts of McHenry and Lake counties received more than an inch of the white stuff early Friday.

A portion of Northern Illinois along with parts of Montana, the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin were under winter weather advisories. Minnesota could see a foot of snow over the weekend, and parts of New England could also see 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 centimeters) in the coming days.

“It seems like it is supposed to be in like a lion and out like a lamb,” said Brian Hurley, a senior meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center. “Now it just seems like it was flipped for a lot of these areas: In like a lamb and out like a lion.”

The spring follows a wild winter, with record heat in February allowing for golf in Wisconsin and outdoor food trucks in Minnesota.

The weather has been so unseasonably warm that many tulips in Pella, Iowa, bloomed in advance of the city’s famed Tulip Time Festival in early May. Organizers plan to use hundreds of wooden tulips to supplement the blooms.

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