Eight area teams will be making their way to the girls state basketball tournament and you know the parents and faculty are all checking the forecast(s). After all, it always snows during the tournament, right? I went to the National Weather Service for the historical data to either confirm or deny this long-discussed topic.

You hear people say it every year at this time, if there's even an inkling of snow. It's either, "Well, you know it always snows during the girls state tournament," or "Must be girls tourney time." Yes, there's always talk of snow but how often does it actually happen? The National Weather Service in Des Moines did a little research for me, and here's what I found:

Snow in the first week of March is pretty common, but large snow amounts are not. Last year during the first week of March, it snowed five of seven days in Des Moines. However, four of the five days it was only a trace. The first day of March last year though, Des Moines received 3-and-a-half inches.

2013, it again snowed five of the month's opening seven days, but the highest one-day total was nine-tenths of an inch.

How 'bout long-term history over the last 65 years? In all that time, Des Moines has received more than 3.2 inches of snow in one day only 10 times. Not since 2003 has the capital city received more than four inches in a day in March's first week.

While the first week of March can be wet, fans should feel pretty confident the chances of a big storm are pretty minor.

Relax fans, faculty, and players too. Prep your gear and team spirit for the Springville Orioles, Cascade Cougars, North Linn Lynx, Iowa City Regina Regals, Mt. Vernon Mustangs, Cedar Rapids Xavier Saints, Iowa City West Trojans, and Cedar Falls Tigers. Best of luck to all of you competing at next week's state tourney and congrats on an incredible season already. And be glad the tourney doesn't start 'til Monday. An inch or so of snow could fall on Des Moines tonight & Sunday, March 1st. And Tuesday definitely bears watching. So about that history...

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