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Daryl Ritchison, WDAY, Published March 15 2013

Weather Talk: Marches a hundred years apart were bitterly cold

Yesterday in this space, John Wheeler wrote about the bitterly cold temperatures during the first half of March 1897. One hundred years later, we also had a very cold first half of March in 1997.

That month started with a blizzard on March 3 and 4 that dumped 16 inches of snow locally. After that, our average snow depth was recorded at 32 inches, the most on record. The low on March 5, 1997, was minus 22 degrees. A brief warmup followed that storm with a few days above freezing, but on March 13, 1997, another storm dropped 7 more inches of snow, pushing our snow depth back to near 30 inches once again. Plus, the temperature dropped to minus 18 on March 15.

But that was the last of the significant snow for the month, and a couple of weeks in the 30s and 40s melted that 32-inch snowpack by April 3.

Once the current weather pattern changes, our snow cover will likely melt in about 10 days, but for now, the pattern remains cold.

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