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Daryl Ritchison, WDAY, Published April 02 2013

Weather Talk: March 2013 notable for cold temperatures

The average temperature last month was 17.3 degrees. That is 10.5 degrees below average and 24.3 degrees colder than the record-setting March of 2012.

This past month tied March 1923 and March 1996 for the 14th-coldest March since records began in 1881. It should be noted that there are 40 Marches on record with an average temperature between 15 and 20 degrees, so although last month’s ranking was fairly low, a couple of nights that may have been cloudy instead of clear would have altered the ranking significantly. I point this out because although the average temperature in March is 27.8 degrees, only 43 of the 133 Marches on record have recorded an above-average temperature.

When a March happens to lack snowcover, it tends to be exceptionally warm and skew the average upward, yet as noted, approximately one out of three Marches have recorded temperatures very similar to what occurred this year.

The coldest March on record was in 1899, with an average temperature of just 11.1 degrees.

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