Thursday, April 02, 2015

March 2015 Climate Summary for northern and eastern Maine

March 2015 featured well below normal temperatures and below normal liquid precipitation. Temperatures ranged from 4 to 6
degrees below normal. Snowfall was more variable across the region with the largest departures from normal across far eastern Maine.

At Caribou, the average temperature of 19.5 degrees was 5 degrees below the 1981-2010 normals. It tied with 1989 as the 11th
coldest March on record. There were a total of 18 days when the high temperature did not rise above freezing, which compares to
an average of 12. On the morning of the 6th the low temperature of 20 below tied the record low for the date which was first
established in 1948.

At Bangor, the average temperature of 24.3 degrees was 5.9 degrees below normal. It ranked as the 4th coldest march behind
only 2014...1967...And 1939. There were a total of 10 days when the high temperature failed to rise above freezing, which
compares to an average of 6. Three record lows were set during the month. On the morning of the 1st, the low of 14 below
established a new daily temperature record. The old record of 11 below was established in 2001. On the 6th, the low of 14 below
broke the previous record of 12 below set in 1948. Finally, on the 24th the low of 4 degrees tied the previous record low which
was established just last year.

March 2015 featured below normal liquid precipitation across northern and eastern maine that averaged between 40 and 75
percent of normal. Snowfall was more variable and ranged from above normal across eastern Aroostook, Washington, and parts of
western Piscataquis Counties to below normal across the remainder of the region.

The big story this past March was the cold. The persistence of the cold weather during the month was remarkable. There were only
5 days in most areas with above average temperatures during the entire month.

The month began with a snowpack of only around a foot in parts of the Saint John Valley with 15 to 25 inches across much of the
remainder of far northern Maine. Downeast amounts ranged from 30 to 50 inches, with unoffical amounts as much as high as 60 inches
in parts of coastal Hancock and coastal Washington Counties. By the end of the month, the snowpack was still around a foot from
Caribou north through the Saint John Valley and from 1 to 2 feet across most of central and Downeast Maine, with locally higher
amounts in parts of Washington County.

The outlook from the Climate Predication Center for April indicates an increased likelihood of below normal temperatures. There are some long range indications that the persistent cold may break at some point during the 2nd half of the month. There are no strong climate signals that would point toward a wet or snowy month or an
unusually dry month. Average temperatures rise rapidly in April with the increasing sun angle and day length. The average high at Caribou rises from 40F on the 1st to 56F on the 30th. The average low temperature rises from 23F on the 1st to 36F by months end. At Bangor, the average high climbs from 46F at the start of the month to 59F on the 30th. The average low rises from 27F at the start of the month to 37F by months end. Daylight increases rapidly with over an hour and a half increase in available daylight during the month of April.