Comparing March 2012 & 2013

Posted at: 03/19/2013 6:35 PM
Updated at: 05/28/2013 12:52 PM
By: Christopher Kuball

As Spring kicks off tomorrow at 6:02a CDT, it sure doesn't feel like Spring is really here, or even close to making an attempt to visit.

You can't get much more polar opposite than March 2012 and March 2013.  Last year, the entire month was littered with warmth.  Outside of a handful of days where temps were below normal to start the month, we were warm, blasting records warm.  An unprecedented streak of seven record highs were crushed in a row from the 13th through the 19th, eight total on the month.

Last year the winter months leading up to March were 'weak' by winter standards recording less than half the normal amount of snow and seeing the 6th warmest January ever recorded and the 7th warmest February ever recorded.

This year, it's been cold from the onset.

So what's the difference?  A couple of the big factors are snow and wind.

Snow cover has a dramatic cooling effect and last March, it was nonexistent.  Not a single measurable snow amount was obtained making last March the least snowiest in recorded history.  This year.  We currently sit at the #3 mark for snowiest Marches having seen 23.5" already, and the month isn't close to being finished.

In March 2012, the wind was more favorable for warming with a persistent southerly flow thanks in part to a strong dome of high pressure situated off to our southeast during the middle part of the month.  That propelled us to the warmest March ever at an average temperature of 49.1° over six full degrees warmer than the second warmest, March 1910.

This year, the upper levels of our atmosphere have been poised to keeping the winds blowing from the northwest.  That northwest pattern, an active one, sending multiple rounds of snow our way.

What does this mean for the rest of Spring and Summer?  We'll have to wait and see.  Data shows little correlation between a cold end of Winter causing a cold Spring and Summer.

Storm Tracker 6 Chief Meteorologist

Chris Kuball