Meanwhile around here, more normal spring temperatures have returned and those fruit trees that behaved as if spring had arrived in March are now seeing their buds freeze. This may turn out to be a very rough year for growing food.
State of the ClimateNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Climatic Data Center
U.S. records warmest March; more than 15,000 warm temperature records broken
First quarter of 2012 also warmest on record; early March tornado outbreak is year's first "billion dollar disaster"
Record and near-record breaking temperatures dominated the eastern two-thirds of the nation and contributed to the warmest March on record for the contiguous United States, a record that dates back to 1895. More than 15,000 warm temperature records were broken during the month.
The average temperature of 51.1°F was 8.6 degrees above the 20th century average for March and 0.5°F warmer than the previous warmest March in 1910. Of the more than 1,400 months (117+ years) that have passed since the U.S. climate record began, only one month, January 2006, has seen a larger departure from its average temperature than March 2012.
Note: The March 2012 Monthly Climate Report for the United States has several pages of supplemental information and data regarding the unprecedented early 2012 temperatures.
U.S. climate highlights — March
Day-by-day animation of daily records tied or broken during March 2012.
Every state in the nation experienced at least one record warm daily temperature during March. According to preliminary data, there were 15,272 warm temperature records broken (7,755 daytime records, 7,517 nighttime records). Hundreds of locations across the country broke their all-time March records. There were 21 instances of the nighttime temperatures being as warm, or warmer, than the existing record daytime temperature for a given date.
March 2012 Statewide Temperature (top) and Precipitation (bottom) ranks
A persistent weather pattern led to 25 states east of the Rockies having their warmest March on record. An additional 15 states had monthly temperatures ranking among their ten warmest. That same pattern brought cooler-than-average conditions to the West Coast states of Washington, Oregon, and California.
Temperatures in Alaska during March, which are not included in the contiguous U.S. average value, ranked as the tenth coolest on record. The nationally-averaged precipitation total was 2.73 inches, which is 0.33 inches above average. The Pacific Northwest and the Southern Plains were much wetter than average during March while drier-than-average conditions prevailed in the interior West, Northeast, and Florida. Colorado had its driest March on record. more