March 31, 2013

A Very Different March

With a spectacular finish, March 2013 represents a huge change  from some of the cool early springs of the past few years.   Let's compare at Seattle-Tacoma Airport!

March 2012 was dismal.  As shown in this plot of temperature (the average highs and lows are shown by the red and blue lines), no day got above 60F and only five days got to or above the normal high in 2012.  Many days cooled to below the normal low.
In contrast, March 2013 had several days above 60F and 19 days got to or above the normal high (note scale on left is different). 
Precipitation?   March 2012 had nearly 7 inches of rain, roughly 3 inches above normal
March 2013?  Drier than normal (by about an inch) and nearly no rain during the last third of of the month.
The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center is going for much warmer than normal for the next 6-10 days (see below) and the latest model runs suggest dry conditions for the next four days.  The reason:  major ridging over the western U.S.

Today (Sunday) should get near 70F over the western lowlands, with clear skies over the entire region (except for some low clouds offshore).  Eastern Washington--mid 70s.


  1. Cliff, that looks like warmer and wetter to me.

  2. Happy Easter and thanks for the weather (yes I always hold you responsible!)

  3. Looking at some weather reports, I see a high of 74 near Index and a 74 and a 75 near North Bend. "Only" upper 60s at both SeaTac and Boeing Field.

    My own experiences agree with this, it was *very* warm this afternoon at Wallace Falls State Park. Coming back west, you could feel it getting cooler as the influence of the cold ocean made itself felt and the influence of the warm subsidence of offshore flow diminished.

  4. And I also note that the NWS has updated their April outlook from much cooler than average to just "average" temps (and precip): Just to have an "average" spring around here would be wonderful.

  5. Indeed a different March than I remember. I lived there for a few years and this is not how I remember it.

  6. My tree in Sequim agrees with you. It opened its first leaves two days earlier than last year.

  7. so cliff, any predictions for spring/summer?

  8. In contrast in The Netherlands we had a very cold and dry march 2013. average temperature was 4 to 5 celcius lower. Didnt have a white christmas this winter..but it was snowing at easter.

  9. Love the in depth charts and graphics! That really helps!


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