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The 2017 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Was March’s Weather as Weird as it Seemed?

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Was March’s Weather as Weird as it Seemed?

Now that we’ve said goodbye to winter (or so we hope), we were thinking about the strange “flip-flop” that took place during the last two months of the season. What happened? February is usually colder, snowier, and more winter-like than March, but this year it seemed to be the opposite.

It’s now early April and much of the Northeastern States are experiencing somewhat of an “Indian winter” (to coin a term) – a lingering of the previous season well past the equinox. (Indian summer is the term most of you are probably familiar with which applies a period of warm weather in the fall.)

April Fools’ Day greeted Farmers’ Almanac readers in New England with a late-season storm that dropped 1½ inches of snow in Boston and 19 inches in Washington, New Hampshire. Our long-range forecast, “Stormy and cold,” for April 1-3, was right on target. But overall, the winter of 2016-17 nationwide had more twists and turns than a roller coaster.

Winter wasn’t really as many expected. In fact it almost seemed to be on strike during January and February, but then March arrived and with it came winter conditions, especially in much of the eastern half of the United States. Other areas also experienced the wrath of March.  Multiple storm systems impacted the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast, capped off by a major nor’easter in the March 13-15 timeframe.

Some Crazy March Weather Stats At a Glance:

Washington, DC:
March temperatures were a full half-degree colder than February, marking the first time the months have been reversed since 1984.

New York City, NY:
According to the National Weather Service, the average temperature during March 2017 was 39.2 degrees, down 3.3 degrees from the city’s average temperature of 42.5. Snowfall was also up in the Big Apple. March 2017 saw 9.7 inches of snow in NYC, more than 5.8 inches above March’s average of 3.9 inches.

Southeast, USA
Right around the middle of March, the southeast experienced its most damaging freeze for the area since the 2007. Farmers lost up to a billion dollars with the hard freeze that followed, wiping out the peach, strawberry, and blueberry crops.

Portland, OR
On the other side of the country, rainy weather headlines in March. Oregon had one of the wettest winters in its history, and the wetness continued through March.

Tucson, AZ
Winter left the Southwest in March. March 2017 shattered heat records in Tucson — it was the warmest on record in both average and high temperatures. The average of 67.8 degrees was more than a full degree higher than the previous record of 66.7 degrees in March 2004.

Denver, CO
March 2017 ties for least snowy March on record, with just a trace of snow in Denver.

March 2017 was definitely one for the record books and reinforces what many of our Facebook followers recently voted as the “worst weather month” of the year.

What’s in store for April and beyond? Check out our spring forecast as well as our long-range regional outlooks. And be sure to consult the 2017 Farmers’ Almanac to see our summer predictions!

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