Grand Rapids (WZZM) -
March was a one-in-a-lifetime month with unprecedented warm temperatures setting numerous daily and monthly records; meanwhile it was a little wetter than average, less snowfall than usual, and slightly more sunshine than expected.
Temperatures for the month averaged 50.7°F, 15.1°F above average and 16.9°F warmer than last year (33.8°F). It was the warmest March on record (from 1892-2012), breaking the previous record of 48.2°F set in 1945. In addition, the temperature departure of +15.1°F is the largest on record, breaking the previous record of +10.3°F also set in 1945. Twenty-three days were warmer than usual, seven were cooler and one was considered average. The highest temperature occurred on March 21 with 87°F while the lowest temperature occurred on March 5 with 19°F.
Precipitation was above average last month with 3.14", 0.77" more than usual but 0.87" less than last year (4.01"). There were ten days with measurable precipitation, which is two days less than usual (12).
Snowfall in March amounted to 2.8", 5.5" less than usual but 1.6" more than last year (1.2").
There was 51.5% of the possible sunshine last month, 2.6% more than usual but 0.8% less than last year (52.3%). There were four clear days - one less than average (5), twenty-one partly cloudy days - fourteen more than usual (7), and six cloudy days - thirteen fewer than average (19).
Monthly temperature records:
- All-time warmest March: 50.7°F; previous record 48.2°F in 1945.
- All-time warmest March high temperature: 87°F on March 21.
- All-time warmest monthly temperature departure: +15.1°F; previous record +10.3°F in March, 1945.
- Most 80°F-plus days in March: 5 days, on March 14, 19, 20, 21, 22; previous record - 1 day; in 1963, 1945, 1938, and 1910.
Daily Temperature records:
- March 7: record high minimum 53°F; previous record 49°F in 1983.
- March 14: record high 80°F; previous record 75°F in 1990 and 1995.
- March 15: record high minimum 53°F; previous record 49°F in 1990.
- March 16: record high 79°F; previous record 71° in 1945; record high minimum 51°F; previous record 45°F in 1990.
- March 17: record high 78°F; previous record 73°F in 1966; record high minimum 54°F; previous record 44°F in 2011.
- March 18: high 75°F tied record with 1903; record high minimum 54°F tied with 1894.
- March 19: record high 81°F; previous record 75°F in 1921.
- March 20: record high 83°F; previous record 74°F in 1921; record high minimum 59°F; previous record 47°F in 1921 and 1938.
- March 21: record high 87°; previous record 76°F in 1938; record high minimum 61°F in 1938 and 1948; largest daily temperature departure of +37°F; previous record of +34°F set on March 20 and 22, 2012 and March 8, 2000.
- March 22: record high 85°F; previous record 82°F in 1938; record high minimum 58°F; previous record 56°F in 1938.
- March 23: record high minimum 56°F; previous record 49°F in 1979.
- March 2: west wind at 48 mph; previous record of southwest wind at 43 mph in 2007.
- March 3: west wind at 48 mph tied record of southwest wind at 48 mph in 1974.
- March 7: west wind at 44 mph; previous record of west wind at 43 mph in 2004.