It should come as no surprise that 2012 has been nothing like average! The D.C. region had its third warmest winter and now this first month of meteorological spring with an average temperature of 56.8 degrees ranks as the warmest March on record! March temperatures were a staggering 10 degrees above average! This completely blows away the old mildest March (now second place) … which is March 1945 when the average temperature was 56.2 degrees.
Incidentally, last year, the average March temperature was 45.6 degrees… some 10 degrees colder than this year, but guess what? The climatological average temperature in March (taking into account highs and lows for each day and averaging them for the entire month) is 45.7 degrees.
Here are a few interesting tidbits about March!
Number of 80 degree days: 4 (Record is 9 set in 1945)
Number of 70 degree days: 14 (Record is 16 set in 1945)
Number of 60 degree days: 9
Days with Record Highs: 03/16: 82 degrees, 03/15: 82 degrees
Days with Record Warm Lows: 03/20: 62 degrees, 03/21: 59 degrees, 03/22: 62 degrees
All this warm weather has come with a price, unfortunately… and that is dry weather. Precipitation for March is 2.34 inches below average and for the year… the precipitation deficit is 3.25 inches!
This trend looks to continue for yet another month this spring with a good bit of the East anticipating warmer than average temperatures. Precipitation should be closer to average (see latest April outlook maps issued from the Climate Prediction Center today below).