Very Strange Weather Month
By Russell Russ
Winter continued to keep spring held back during our month of March. The continued cold winter temperatures were near record breaking levels, but what was really unusual was the lack of rain and snow for most of the month. After a snowy December through February period it was odd to have such a snow-free March. There was snow on the ground every day this month, but it was just because it never melted from the previous months. Had it not been for a brief warm-up and heavy rains during the last few days of the month, March would have ranked in the top three for cold, lack of rain and lack of snowfall. It was no surprise that most local ponds and lakes kept their ice throughout the month.
March’s low temperature of minus 2 degrees was observed on March 1 and the high of 52 degrees was observed on March 11. With an average mean temperature of 24.6 degrees it was six degrees colder than normal and turned out to be the fifth coldest March in the last 83 years. It was our third consecutive month with colder than normal temperatures. The coldest March on record was in 1960 when the average monthly temperature was just 21.2 degrees.
The total precipitation recorded for the month was 4.08 inches, 0.46 inches below normal. Over three inches of this monthly rainfall came during the last few days of the month. Up to the last few days it was on track to be the third driest March on record. The monthly snowfall total of just 0.9 inches was 17.3 inches below normal and totally unexpected. It was our second least snowiest March on record. Our least snowiest March was in 1946 when we measured just 0.5 inches of snow. Up to the last day of the month it was on track to be tied with 1946 as least snowiest, but a little sleet changed that. Sleet is considered snow, but you could certainly argue that point.
The 2014 calendar year, January through March, total precipitation amount of 12.36 inches was just about normal. The snowfall total of 62.4 inches for this period was 2.5 inches above normal. The snowfall total for this winter season, October through March, was 79.9 inches. This was 4.8 inches below normal. We lost a lot of ground in the snow department during March.