Still felt like winter

By Russell Russ

Did you think it was a cold March this year? Many people did. Where were all those 70 degree days? Well, it was a cooler March than we have experienced in a while. It was the coldest March since 2005. Other years with colder Marches than this year were 2001 and then 1996 before that. You have to go back to the early 1990’s to find a few in a row that were as cold as or colder than this year. It was March after all and here in Norfolk it is supposed to get cold in March. Maybe we are getting soft here in the Icebox of Connecticut when the usual normal feels cold.

Last year was the warmest March on record for us and with an average temperature of 41.8 degrees it was an impressive 12 degrees warmer than this year. The month of March is typically our transition month into spring, but unlike last year, spring was mostly held in check throughout the entire month. At month’s end, many warmer locations around town may have lost most of their snow cover, but at the weather station there was still a solid eight inches on the ground. Many local ponds still had enough ice to safely walk on at the end of the month.

March’s low temperature of 8 degrees was observed on March 18 and the high of 51 degrees occurred on March 31. The 50 degrees recorded on March 10 was the only other time it reached 50 or higher. With an average temperature of 29.7 degrees it was 0.9 degree cooler than normal. There have been many years where we have recorded below zero temperatures in March. Not this year, in fact, this year we only dipped into the single digits once. Unlike last year when the temperatures were often too warm for the maple sap to flow, this year there were many days when it was just too cold for it to flow.

The total precipitation recorded for the month was 2.63 inches, 1.91 inches below normal. The 2013 calendar year total precipitation amount of 8.37 inches is 3.87 inches below normal. The monthly snowfall total was 19.8 inches, 1.6 inches above normal. Our snowfall was fairly evenly distributed throughout the month with the largest snowfall coming on March 7 and 8. The 2013 calendar year snowfall total of 53.6 inches is 6.3 inches below normal. The snowfall total for this winter season, October through March is 75.5 inches, 9.2 inches below normal for this time period, but it is 20 inches more than last year.