March was colder and wetter than normal

News, Weather

April 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

March 2013 did a big turnaround for March of last year. State climatologist Harry Hillaker, says March of 2012 was much warmer than normal — but that wasn’t the case this year. “Preliminarily, temperatures averaging about seven degrees colder than usual,” Hillaker says.In Atlantic, the high temperature for the month averaged 42-degrees, which was about three-degrees cooler than normal. Hillaker says we have to go back all the way to 1984 to find a colder March, and possibly further back once all the data comes in. The cold in March brought along a bunch of snow too.

“Actually, the snowiest March since 1998 — the state average was about nine-point-eight inches — which is a little more than double what’s normal for the month, and so cold and snowy. And as far as precipitation in general for a state average, just barely above normal for the month — roughly about two-point-two inches of precipitation this month,” Hillaker says. The precipitation for the month kept a positive wet trend going.

“It would be the fourth consecutive month that our state average precipitation has actually been above normal,” Hillaker says. “We haven’t put a streak together like that for quite some time. None of those months really were exceptionally wet, but at least its kind of in the direction we want to be going with the ongoing long-term drought conditions that we’re still trying to overcome.”In Atlantic, we received a total of 6.3-inches of snow, which melted down into slightly less than an inch of liquid precipitation (.85″ inch), which was well below the normal amount we should have received for the month (2.29”).

Hillaker says the weather for Iowa in April could be warm and wet according to early predictions.

(Radio Iowa/data from KJAN)