OK, so this March has started on a seasonably cool note through the first third. Temperatures through yesterday were 0.2 degrees above average -- much cooler than last year and definitely in line with reality. Compared to other years, it's hardly one of the coldest around. Through yesterday, we counted nine other starts to March that were colder going back to 1990. Yep, this is the 10th coldest March in the last 23 years in Philadelphia...it is the coldest start to March since 2007, however. Cue the headlines (sarcastically, of course)!
To be fair, the core of chill in the US has been in the South and Southeast so far this month -- much of this buoyed by the really cold start to the month across these areas. Temperatures are still several degrees below average in Florida and Georgia so far this month -- this should moderate through the balance of the month to some degree, but even here it has been colder in the mid and early 1990's than the start they've experienced so far this year.
Modeling does suggest that the Southeast likely has seen the last of any real cold air for the balance of the month and likely the cold season -- there might be occasional intrusions of chill next week in the wake of a storm system that computer guidance has hyped to track its low anywhere from Michigan to Maryland over the past few days so specifics of temperatures post-storm are still up in the air a bit for the eastern half of the country for the middle and latter portions of next week.
Up here, the mild regime that we have had for the past four days will retreat...tomorrow cooler than today, Thursday cooler yet. It does look like we will bounce back to near or just above average for Friday before a pair of waves of precipitation (and cooler weather) return for St. Patrick's Day weekend.