A Fairly Typical March

By Russell Russ

The month’s high temperature of 50 degrees was observed on March 26. The low temperature of 12 degrees was observed on March 30. The average temperature this month was 30.5 degrees. This was just 0.2 degrees above the normal March average.

March’s normal monthly total precipitation amount is 4.45 inches. The total precipitation recorded this March was 5.94 inches. This was 1.49 inches above normal, but by no means out of the ordinary. As of March 8 we almost had our normal monthly amount of precipitation and it looked like March might be another record setting wet month just as February was, but in the end it came out just a bit above normal.

The snowfall total for the month was 9.9 inches, making it 8.8 inches below normal for March. We can see some big snow producing nor’easters during the month of March, but not this year. The largest snowstorm this month actually started on the last day of February and continued into March 1. A total of 6.5 inches fell. After that we saw only a dusting to an inch for totals in numerous other snow events. The snow cover was receding quickly all around town especially toward the end of the month, but the station managed to keep snow on the ground throughout the month. The snow cover at the station this month ranged from a high of 21 inches (a season high) on March 1 to a low of 2 inches on March 31.

A snow core sample measured on March 4 showed that there was 5.7 inches of water sitting on the ground in the form of ice and snow. A snow core measured on March 18 produced 4.6 inches of water. Snow cores are routinely done throughout the winter months to measure the amount of frozen precipitation that is on the ground. The National Weather Service is very interested in these figures so that they can issue flood watches and warnings should there be a rapid warm-up or large rain event.

The snowfall total for this winter season to date, November through March, is 79.1 inches. This is 9.4 inches below normal. The snowfall recorded for 2008 to date, January through March, is 55.0 inches, which is 7.0 inches below normal. The total precipitation recorded thus far for 2008 is 18.16 inches, which is 5.96 inches above normal. We have been getting the moisture so far this year; it has just been more rain than snow.