A Tale of Two Marches 3/31

What a wild ride this March was, and completely different from last March.

It is the last day of March but with the temperatures and the weather we've seen this month, it feels more like we're at the end of February!

About 85% of our snowfall this winter fell in March. At our station, our March snowfall total is 18".  Here is a look at monthly snowfall amounts around the area for March. This data is from the National Weather Service.

March 2013 Monthly Snowfall
Harrisonburg (TV3) 18"
Dale Enterprise 23"
Charlottesville 21.8"
Luray 23.5"
Woodstock 19.8"
Staunton 21.5"

Considering the average monthly snowfall amounts for Harrisonburg/Rockingham county is only 3.2" for March, this is well above normal.

March snow storms are not that uncommon for the Valley. In fact, that's one of the better times of the year to see a decent snow storm because moisture usually becomes more ample from the Gulf as the Jet stream starts, or tries to lift northward.

When enough cold air is in place, that can create some big storms, as we've seen this March. The most notable was the March 5th and 6th snow storm that dumped 1'-2' of snow plus for the area!

One noticeable difference was St. Patrick's Day.

Last year I remember it being so warm, I was sitting outside in the sun, enjoying the warm day.

Looking back at records from last year we were in a 11 day stretch of temperatures in the 70s during the middle of the month! This St. Patrick's day, it was cold, and it snowed!

March of 2013 was not just all about the snow, temperatures were well below average for most of the month.  We recorded 8 days with  high temperature in the 30s for this March! For perspective an average high temperature for March averages out to be 53 degrees for the month.

Take a look at temperature comparisons from this March, to last March.

What a difference.

Last year the average high temperature for the entire month was 66.7 degrees!

There were also two days where temperatures were in the 80s.

This March, the average high is only 46 degrees, about 7 degrees below normal. We had zero days with highs in the 70s or 80s, and only two days with high temperatures reaching into the 60s.

As the saying goes, "in like a lion, out like a lamb". This March may be one to almost say, "in like a lion, out like a lion".

Temperatures through the middle of April look to stay a bit below or near normal. But April looks to be behaving more like a March, a transition month. By that I mean, warming a few days then a cool down. Warming again, then cooling, the typical roller coaster in temperatures.

Follow Meteorologist Aubrey Urbanowicz WHSV on Facebook and Twitter.

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