Tuesday, April 15, 2014

March 2014 Statewide Temperature & Precipitation Rankings

March 2014 U.S. Climate Summary

March 2014 temperatures for Nebraska averaged near normal with much be,low normal temperatures to our northeast and much above normal temperatures to our southwest. The March 2014 precipitation in Nebraska was well below normal (ranked 11th driest on record out of 120 years of data, 1895-2014).

The U.S. Climate Highlights are below the two maps.

Climate Highlights — March 2014 From NOAA/NCDC

Below-average temperatures dominated the eastern half of the contiguous U.S. during March. The largest departures from average occurred across the Great Lakes and Northeast, where nine states had temperatures that ranked among their 10 coldest on record. The persistent cold resulted in nearly two-thirds of the Great Lakes remaining frozen into early April.

Vermont had its coldest March on record, with a statewide temperature of 18.3°F, 8.9°F below average. The previous coldest March in Vermont occurred in 1916 when the monthly average temperature was 18.6°F.

Maine and New Hampshire each had their second coldest March on record, while Michigan and New York had their fifth coldest. Massachusetts and Wisconsin had their eighth coldest March, Connecticut its ninth coldest, and Pennsylvania its 10th coldest.

Most locations from the Rockies westward had above-average March temperatures. California had its ninth warmest March, with a statewide temperature 4.7°F above average. No state was record warm for March.

The Northern Rockies and Pacific Northwest were much wetter than average during March, with Montana and Washington having their third wettest and sixth wettest March on record, respectively. Conversely, much of the central U.S. and Midwest was drier than average. Kansas, Iowa, and Illinois each had a top 10 dry March.

On March 22nd, a large landslide impacted the Stillaguamish Valley near the town of Oso, Wash., causing at least 30 fatalities. Washington's Climate Division 3, in which the landslide occurred, observed its wettest March on record. Its 8.67 inches of precipitation during March was more than twice the monthly average.

According to the April 1 U.S. Drought Monitor report, 38.4 percent of the contiguous U.S. was in drought, up from 35.9 percent at the beginning of March. Beneficial precipitation fell in California during March, but did little to improve drought conditions — 23.5 percent of the state remained in the worst classification of drought ("exceptional"). Drought conditions intensified across parts of the Central and Southern Plains and expanded into parts of the Southeast.

According to NOAA data analyzed by the Rutgers Global Snow Lab, March snow cover extent across the contiguous U.S. was the 22nd largest in the 48-year period of record at 845,000 square miles, about 104,000 square miles above the 1981-2010 average. Above-average snow cover was observed across the Northern Plains and Rockies, Midwest and Northeast where numerous storms brought heavy snowfall during the month. Below-average snow cover was observed for most of the West and southern Rockies due to season-long snow deficits.

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