Tuesday, April 02, 2013

March 2013 Climate Summary for northern and eastern Maine

...Northern and eastern Maine March 2013 monthly climate summary...
March 2013 got off to a very mild start. Every day during the first
two weeks of the month featured above normal temperatures at both
Caribou and Bangor. In fact, the first two weeks of the month were
the warmest start on record to the month of March at Caribou. At
Bangor it ranked as the 6th warmest start to the month on record.
Temperatures turned sharply colder mid month with a low of zero at
Caribou on the morning of the 18th and 7 above at Bangor on the
morning of the 22nd. The warm start to the month all but assured
above normal temperatures for the month as a whole. By the end of
the month, average temperatures ranged from 2 to 5 degrees above
normal, with a few pockets of 5 to 8 degrees above normal across
northern Maine. Caribou ended the month with an average temperature
Of 29.8 degrees, which was 5.3 degrees above normal. It was the
5th warmest March during the past 30 years. At Bangor, the average
temperature of 32.4 degrees was 2.2 degrees above normal.

Although March was unusually warm, it did not feature the record
warmth of 2012 that sent temperatures into the 80s at Bangor on the
21st and 22nd, setting back to back all-time monthly high
records. Caribou observed 3 consecutive days in the 70s in 2012 and
set an all-time monthly record high of 75 degrees on the 21st. The
monthly high temperature during March 2013 was only 50 degrees on
the 31st at Caribou and 55 degrees at Bangor on the 29th.

The biggest weather events this past march were a blizzard that
began on the last day of February and ended early on the morning of
the 1st. A heavy rain event on March 12-13 that produced 1 to 3
inches of rain in Washington county and caused culvert flooding and
washouts countywide. A snow storm on March 19-20 produced
widespread 8 to 16 inches of snow across the area with a bit less
along the immediate coast, and up to 18 inches in the Houlton area.

As is usually the case precipitation was much more variable than
temperature. March 2013 was relatively dry in many areas, but
parts of coastal Washington county received over 3 inches of rain
from the heavy rain event on March 12-13...and ended the month with
125 percent of normal precipitation. Caribou and Bangor observed 69
and 61 percent respectively of their normal precipitation. A total
of 15.2 inches of snow was observed at Caribou, which was 3.1
inches below normal. At Bangor, the total of 13.7 inches of snow
was 2 inches above normal.

The month began with 22 inches of snow on the ground at
Caribou, but the snow melted and compressed to only 4 inches by mid
month due to the record warm start to the month. By the end of the
month the snow depth had decreased to only a trace. At Bangor, the
month began with 4 inches of snow on the ground and ended with
zero. The snow depth peaked at 10 inches on the 20th-21st. At the
end of the month there was still a significant snow pack with snow
depths of 1 to 2 feet in the north Maine woods.

Break up was for the most part very gentle this March as there was
no extremely warm weather, and temperatures fell below freezing on
most nights. Mild temperatures and heavy rainfall in Washington
County on March 12-13 caused some ice movement on the Piscataquis
River and Kingsbury Stream...but there were no reports received this
past March of any significant flooding.

Although April is expected to start on a cold note this week the
official outlook for April from the Climate Prediction Center
calls for an increased chance of above normal temperatures. There
are no strong climate signals that tilt the odds in favor of
either an unusually dry or wet April. At Caribou (Bangor) the
average high temperature on the 1st is 40 degrees (46) and by the
end of the month rises to 56 degrees (59). The average lows warm
from 23 to 36 degrees at Caribou and from 27 to 37 degrees at
Bangor. Average precipitation at Caribou is 2.66 inches which
includes 7.4 inches of snow...and 3.62 inches including 3.7 inches
of snow at Bangor.