March 2017 Weather Summary

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Published on: 2017.04.01


Temperature trend lines for March, 2010-2017
(Copyright © 2017 by Wil C. Fry. Some rights reserved.)

March 2017 was our warmest March on record, beating the previous record-holder, March 2012. The high-low average (HLA) was 68.00°F, nearly a full degree warmer per day than the previous record-breaking March.

Not only was March 2017 warmer than all previous Marches (and all Januaries, Februaries, Novembers, and Decembers), but it was also warmer than one of our Aprils.

Our high for the month was 87°F (twice), which isn’t remarkable as March goes. But our low for the month was startling at 43°F. All previous Marches have seen temperatures cooler than that — occasionally including freezing temperatures. Even April and October often see temps cooler than 43°F. That trend held true for the entire month, with our lows being warmer than usual, which is what bumped the HLA to the record.

We didn’t set any daily record lows, but recorded two daily record highs.

I measured 2.21 inches of rainfall for March 2017. This is below average, but very close to March’s median (the average was skewed upward by the nearly 11 inches of ran in March 2012). I recorded 11 days that saw precipitation, which is above average, but close to the median.

• PREDICTIONS

1. Our combined January/February/March HLA has never been this warm. The last time a year began with heat anywhere close to this (2012), we ended up with our warmest year of all time. That year, January, April, May, and December all set records that still stand. (At the time, February and March set records too, but both have since been surpassed.)

2. We’ve never seen a March low as high as 43°F (or a February low as high as 38°F). All I can extrapolate from this is the continuing trend of lows in most months getting warmer. Most months, our HIGHS aren’t seeing startling rises, but it’s not getting as cool as it used to at night.

3. The last time January/February/March combined for so few freezing days (four) was 2012 (two), our warmest year on record.

All signs point to a very hot year, but also not a very dry one. Our only very dry year since moving here was 2011, and that drought was already apparent by March.

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