March 2022 National Weather Summary

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James Munley

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Apr 12, 2022, 7:19:30 PM4/12/22
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NATIONAL WEATHER SUMMARY

MARCH 2022

1-5: For much of the week, mild, dry weather covered large sections of the country. Across the South, mostly dry weather in several areas—including the Gulf Coast region and southern Atlantic States—further reduced topsoil moisture.

Early-week precipitation was heavy in the Pacific Northwest. In western Washington, runoff from heavy rain and melting snow led to another round of mostly minor to moderate flooding. As the week progressed, precipitation spread across the nation’s northern tier and shifted southward across the West. The Western precipitation, while beneficial for boosting topsoil moisture and slightly improving high-elevation snowpack, did not appreciably change spring and summer runoff and water-supply prospects, which grew increasingly bleak during the dryness of January and February.

Sudden warmth in the nation’s mid-section boosted weekly temperatures more than 10°F above normal across portions of the Plains and western Corn Belt. Warmth extended into other parts of the country, including the middle and southern Atlantic States and much of the West, although colder weather arrived across the latter region late in the week. Lingering frigid weather was limited to the nation’s northern tier, from North Dakota to New England. Weekly temperatures averaged at least 10°F below normal in parts of northern New England. Cold weather lingered early in the week across parts of the western and central U.S. In Texas, for example, daily-record lows for February 28 included 21°F in Waco and 30°F in Victoria. Meanwhile, warmth developed across the northern Plains and Far West. The last day of February featured daily-record highs in Burbank, CA (87°F), and Pierre, SD (64°F). March began with expanding warmth across much of the country. In southern California, daily-record highs for March 1 topped the 90-degree mark in Thermal (93°F), Palm Springs (93°F), and Indio (92°F). On the Plains, record-setting high for March 1 included 82°F in Medicine Lodge, KS, and 71°F in Chadron, NE. Elsewhere in Nebraska, Lincoln (81°F on March 2) observed its third-earliest day of 80-degree warmth on record, behind February 29, 1972, and March 1, 1992. Daily-record highs also topped the 80-degree mark on March 2 in locations such as Kansas City, MO (84°F), and Topeka, KS (84°F). During the second half of the week, warmth shifted eastward. By March 3, daily-record highs surged to 85°F in Charlotte, NC, and 84°F in Fayetteville, AR. Unusual warmth also prevailed in the West, where Salt Lake City, UT, logged a daily-record high (71°F) for March 3. Meanwhile, Fort Myers, FL, tallied a trio of daily-record highs (87, 88, and 90°F) from March 3-5. The week ended on March 4-5 with consecutive daily records in Mississippi locations such as Vicksburg (83 and 84°F) and Greenwood (83 and 81°F). Several lateweek wildfires flared across the Deep South, including the 28,000-acre Bertha Swamp Road Fire east of Panama City, FL. At week’s end, warmth surged northward in advance of a strong cold front. In the Midwest, record-setting highs for March 5 soared to 77°F in Indianapolis, IN, and 75°F in Peoria, IL.

6-12: For the second time in 3 weeks, unusually cold air engulfed much of the country. Weekly temperatures averaged at least 10 to 20°F below normal across large sections of the Plains and upper Midwest. Cold air also spilled into the West, although frigid conditions were mostly limited to the Rockies. Along and near the Pacific Coast, weekly temperatures were close to normal. Elsewhere, spring-like warmth prevailed for much of the week in the East, where weekly readings generally averaged 5 to 10°F above normal in the Atlantic Coast States. By week’s end, however, freezes reached deep into the South, affecting most areas along and north of a line from south-central Texas to northern Florida. The cold wave, which peaked on March 10 across the northern half of the Plains and the Northwest, culminated in widespread Southeastern freezes on March 13. The sub-freezing temperatures in the Deep South, following record-setting warmth. The harsh cold spell trailed a pair of storms, which provided beneficial moisture in several areas. Notably, significant precipitation fell along and south of a line from Missouri to Maine, including some drought-affected areas of the South.

opened the week on March 6-7 with consecutive daily-record highs (68 and 74°F, respectively). A pair of daily-record highs also occurred on March 6-7 in Baltimore, MD (78 and 79°F), and Tampa, FL (89 and 88°F). Early-week warmth was also prominent in the Gulf Coast States, where record-setting highs for March 6 soared to 87°F in Shreveport, LA, and Greenwood, MS. In Florida, Sarasota-Bradenton posted a daily-record high of 90°F on March 6. Meanwhile, cold air settled across the West. By March 8, daily-record lows in Arizona dipped to 11°F in Winslow and 26°F in Nogales. Another record low (27°F) was set in Nogales on March 9. In the Pacific Coast States, record-setting lows for March 9 included 23°F in Olympia, WA, and 29°F in Ramona, CA. In Oregon, Redmond collected consecutive daily-record lows, 12 and 5°F, respectively, on March 9-10. Meanwhile in Wyoming, the 10th was the coldest March day on record in locations such as Casper (-25°F) and Rawlins (-24°F). Previous monthly records had been -21°F in Casper (on March 25, 1965) and -23°F in Rawlins (on March 8, 1998). Across the Plains and Northwest, sub-zero, daily-record lows on March 10 included -12°F in Alliance, NE; -7°F in Denver, CO; and -2°F in Pocatello, ID. By March 11, daily-record lows were set in several locations from the Pacific Coast to the Plains, including Stockton, CA (32°F); Winslow, AZ (7°F); Russell, KS (0°F); and Randolph, UT (-19°F). Meanwhile, heat lingered in advance of a sharp cold snap across southern Florida, where highs of 90°F on March 12 in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and West Palm Beach were records for the date. However, by the morning of March 13, dailyrecord lows plunged to 22°F in Macon, GA; 28°F in Mobile, AL, and Baton Rouge, LA; and 36°F in Lakeland and Leesburg, FL.

13-19: Cold, mostly dry weather yielded to mild, unsettled conditions, starting in the Pacific Northwest.

The leading system traversed the Southeast around the middle of the week, while the trailing storm produced showers and thunderstorms across the South and a separate area of precipitation from the central Plains into the Midwest. Meanwhile, some rain and snow fell in the western U.S., although significant amounts were generally limited to the central Rockies and the Northwest.

Mostly dry weather also persisted across the northcentral U.S. and the southern Plains. In the latter region, mid- to late-week wildfires flared amid warmth, wind, and low humidity levels, fueled by ample freeze- and drought-cured vegetation. Within days, the Eastland Complex had destroyed dozens of homes in Carbon, TX, and had scorched more than 54,000 acres of vegetation in or near Eastland County. Following the previous week’s cold spell, temperatures averaged at least 10°F above normal across large sections of the northern Plains, as well as an area extending from the middle Mississippi Valley into parts of the Northeast. Near- or above-normal temperatures covered the southern Atlantic States and much of the West. However, cooler-than-normal conditions lingered in a few areas, including the central and southern Rockies and parts of the Deep South. As the week began, effects of a sharp cold snap lingered across the southern and eastern U.S. Indeed, March 13 was the coldest morning of the outbreak in much of the Southeast. Daily-record low temperatures for the 13th were set or tied in numerous locations, including Augusta, GA (19°F); Macon, GA (22°F); Mobile, AL (28°F); Baton Rouge, LA (28°F); and Jacksonville, FL (30°F). For Jacksonville, it was the lowest reading since January 30, when the temperature dipped to 22°F. Soon, warmth returned along the Pacific Coast. Daily recordtying highs in California included 68°F (on March 14) in Eureka and 84°F (on March 16) in Santa Barbara. During the second half of the week, warmth returned across much of the remainder of the country. March 17 featured daily-record highs in locations such as McAllen, TX (97°F), and Dayton, OH (74°F). Hartford, CT, logged a daily-record high (76°F) on March 18. Elsewhere on the 18th, Leesburg, FL, collected a daily-record high of 89°F, just 5 days after posting a daily-record low of 36°F.

20-26: The West— received little or no precipitation. The Western dryness, accompanied by a warming trend, began to prematurely melt mountain snowpack. In fact, early-spring warmth dominated the country, helping to warm soils in advance of widespread spring planting operations. Weekly temperatures averaged at least 10°F above normal in parts of California. Readings averaged 5 to 10°F above normal in many areas from the northern Plains into the Midwest and East. Consistently cooler-than-normal conditions were limited to the south-central U.S., where temperatures in Texas averaged as much as 5°F below normal, despite a sudden, lateweek warming trend. During the cool spell, freezes were reported as far south as the southern High Plains through March 24. At week’s end cold air began to overspread the Midwest and northern and middle Atlantic States. Early in the week, a surge of warmth in advance of an approaching storm system elevated temperatures to dailyrecord levels on March 20 in locations such as Lincoln, NE (80°F), and Pierre, SD (79°F). La Crosse, WI, notched a daily-record high of 75°F on March 21. Later, cooler air began to overspread the Midwest and Northeast, while an impressive, early-season warm spell developed across the West. In California, Sacramento (81, 84, 81, and 82°F) and Stockton (80, 84, 86, and 84°F) achieved four consecutive daily-record highs from March 21-24. Similarly, Paso Robles, CA, posted four dailyrecord highs in a row (84, 90, 89, and 87°F) from March 22-25. Several other California locations, including Bakersfield (91°F on March 23) and Fresno (90°F on March 24), reported daily-record highs of 90°F or greater. Late in the week, warmth spread farther inland and reached the Desert Southwest. By March 26, monthly record highs were established in Death Valley, CA (104°F; previously, 103°F on March 31, 2015), and Las Vegas, NV (93°F; previously, 92°F on March 21, 2004). Elsewhere in Nevada, Reno closed the week with four consecutive daily-record highs (77, 80, 81, and 79°F) from March 23-26. With a high of 79°F on March 26, Salt Lake City, UT, narrowly missed a monthly record set with a reading of 80°F on March 31, 2012. At week’s end, hot weather arrived in the south-central U.S., replacing previously cool conditions. San Angelo, TX, collected a daily-record high of 93°F on March 26, shortly after the temperature dipped to 36°F on March 24 and 25. Temperatures rose more than 50°F on the 26th across parts of the southern High Plains; a low of 27°F in Dalhart, TX, was followed by a high of 83°F. Elsewhere, several daily-record highs were reported across Florida’s peninsula; on March 22, for example, readings soared to 89°F in Naples and 88°F in Tampa.

27-Apr. 2: Much of the West also received little or no precipitation, although briefly heavy amounts occurred mainly on March 28 in coastal sections of central and southern California. Meanwhile, unusually cold weather prevailed for much of the week from the Midwest into the middle and northern Atlantic States, where temperatures averaged as much as 5 to 10°F below normal. The remainder of the country, including the West and the Deep South, experienced near- or above-normal temperatures. Weekly readings averaged at least 5°F above normal in much of western, central, and southern Texas, as well as broad sections of the western U.S. Sub-zero temperatures were reported in portions of the upper Great Lakes region. In Minnesota, Hibbing noted a daily-record low of -4°F on March 28. Several daily-record lows also occurred in the middle Atlantic States and the lower Great Lakes region. On March 29, temperatures dipped to 22°F in Islip, NY, and 14°F in Youngstown, OH. Atlantic City, NJ, posted consecutive daily-record lows (21 and 20°F, respectively) on March 29-30. Prior to the coldest mornings, March 28 was a remarkably chilly day in the Northeast, with maximum temperatures failing to reach the 20- degree mark in locations such as Saranac Lake, NY (13°F), and Montpelier, VT (19°F). In contrast, lingering warmth across the South resulted in a few daily-record highs, including 95°F (on March 28) in San Angelo, TX, and 91°F (on March 29) in Fort Myers, FL. Warmth was more persistent in the West, where the week began on March 27 with daily-record highs in dozens of locations, including El Paso, TX (88°F); Hanksville, UT (85°F); Grand Junction, CO (78°F); and Pocatello, ID (75°F). By March 28, warmth briefly overspread the High Plains, resulting in daily-record highs in Lubbock, TX (94°F), and Great Falls, MT (72°F). Late in the month, warm weather abruptly replaced previously cold conditions in the East. In the Ohio Valley, record-setting high temperatures for March 30 soared to 84°F in Louisville, KY, and 83°F in Parkersburg, WV.
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