AccuWeather: 15,272 records broken during unprecedented March warmth
By Jillian McMath
AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — AccuWeather.com meteorologists report the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released their March 2012 National Overview report April 10, confirming that March was more than just a month of scattered warmth — it shattered records across the U.S., becoming the only month ever recorded, except for January 2006, that had surpassed its record by such a large margin.
According to NOAA, the average temperature across the U.S. was 8.6 degrees above the 20th century average.
However, the report did not just reveal that certain parts of the U.S. had unseasonable warmth; no region was exempt from the weather anomalies.
Every state in the nation experienced at least one record warm daily temperature in March, totaling 15,272 warm temperature records broken.
The Northeast had its warmest March in 118 years this year, averaging 44.4 degrees Fahrenheit, 9.8 degrees above the average for the region.
In the Midwest region, it was the warmest March on record for the region as a whole and individually for each of the nine states within it. More than 6,400 daily temperature records were recorded for the region, 650 of which were records for any day in March.
In the Southeast, Virginia, the Carolinas and northern Georgia and Alabama had monthly temperatures that were 9 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit above average. Birmingham, Ala., Tampa, Fla., Atlanta, Columbia, S.C., Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and Roanoke, Va., all had their warmest March on record. Additionally, many locations in the Southeast experienced all-time March records for number of days with 80-degree temperatures and higher.
The High Plains had many summerlike days throughout March, with widespread monthly temperature departures of 9 to 15 degrees. Average monthly temperature records were broken in each state in the region, some of which had been in place for more than 100 years. Many cities broke record high daily temperatures, as well, with some as high as 17 degrees above average.
In the South, mean temperatures for the month ranged from 3 to 15 degrees above normal. Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee each had their warmest March since records began in 1895.
The West was the coolest region of the U.S. throughout March, but it still experienced some record highs. Long Beach, Calif., hit a record high of 91 degrees for March 4.
AccuWeather.com’s Long-Range Forecasting Team expected the unusual warmth during March and this spring in general.
“At least two-thirds of the nation could wind up with above-normal temperatures (during spring 2012),” Paul Pastelok, expert long-range meteorologist and leader of the AccuWeather.com Long-Range Forecasting Team, wrote in a forecast back in late February.
Pastelok said that spring of 2012 would feature the most widespread warmth since 2004.
Posted April 10, 2012