Sunday, April 01, 2012

Warmest. March. Ever. (For Most)

With an average temperature of 52.2 degrees this past month, Philadelphia's second warmest March on record felt more like May at times than March.  Believe it or not, the month did end up with seven days of below average temperatures during the course of it...of course, when you're trucking with temperatures as much as 20 degrees or more above average on five occasions during the month it really doesn't matter how cool those seven below average days ended up!  For the month, 52.2 was 8.7 degrees above average.  In terms of departure from average, it matches January 1998 for the largest positive anomaly in temperatures in the last 15 years in any given month.   The record warmest March for Philadelphia was back in 1921 -- 52.5.

By the way, for just about everyone else...this was the warmest March on record.  Exceptions being Reading (2nd) and Wilmington (3rd).

In terms of rainfall, our pittance of 0.79" of rain for the month was the 4th driest total on record for the month of March, only out-dried by 1910, 1966, and 1885.  The region generally had its third or fourth driest March on record (exception, Atlantic City, which had 2.10" of rain thanks to a heavy thunderstorm early in the month).

We've now been above average on temperatures 14 consecutive months (record that I have for a tally in the Airport era from 1940-present is 17, back in 1990-1992)...and the running 12 month tally of 59.38 degrees is the warmest April-March period on record (back to 1872) and the warmest 12 month stretch regardless of which twelve consecutive months are sampled on record in Philadelphia.