Third Warmest March on Record

By Russell Russ

The month’s high temperature of 65 degrees was observed on March 19, 20 and 21. It was a record high for March 19, beating the old record of 60 degrees set in 1945. The low temperature of 17 degrees was observed on March 27. The average mean temperature this month was 38.4 degrees, 7.9 degrees above normal. It was Norfolk’s third warmest March in the last 79 years, being surpassed only by 1946 with 40.9 degrees and 1945 with 40.4 degrees. Five of our ten warmest Marches have occurred since 1995. In Albany, NY it was the tenth warmest March in the last 191 years.

The total precipitation recorded for the month was 7.51 inches, 3.02 inches above normal. It was the sixth wettest March in the last 79 years. The wettest March was in 1953 when 10.37 inches were measured. March’s snowfall total was a mere 2.7 inches, 15.7 inches below normal. It was Norfolk’s fifth lowest March snowfall total. The least amount of March snow over the last 79 years came in 1946 when only 0.5 inches fell. The last day with measurable snow on the ground at the station was March 22. It was gone one week earlier than last year. In Albany, NY it was the fifth least snowiest March in the last 126 years.

The snowfall total for this winter season, October through March, is now at 73.3 inches, 11.2 inches below normal. What a difference a month makes. At the end of February we were 4.5 inches above normal. For the first quarter of 2010 we are 6.4 inches below normal for snowfall, but 4.83 inches above normal for total precipitation.

The ice went out on local ponds and lakes about four to five days earlier this year than last year. Tobey Pond went out on March 25 while Wangum Lake went out on March 26. This is earlier than normal, but not all that record breaking. Typically the ice goes out anywhere from the last week of March to the first or second week of April.

Early reports indicate that it was not a particularly good year for maple syrup making in Connecticut. It was a month marked by flooding in many Connecticut locations. Norfolk and Litchfield County did get more rainfall than normal, but we were spared the record setting flooding that hit parts of southern Connecticut.