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Five years ago: Record-warm March leads to pussywillow 'disaster'

It's part of the longest streak of record-breaking warm weather in Buffalo's history.

The last of winter's days and first of early spring in March 2012 launched Buffalo right into summertime.

Shorts and T-shirts were broken out. Buds popped on trees. And the flowers bloomed.

March 2012 bested its counterpart from 1946 by nearly 3 full degrees as the warmest March in Buffalo's weather history.

From March 12-23, the daily high temperatures reached at least 60 degrees.

Records were set for high temperatures on March 12 (69 degrees) and on six consecutive days starting on St. Patrick's Day.

The warmest March day in Buffalo's recorded history came on this date five years ago. It was 82 degrees.

That's nearly 40 degrees above the normal high temperature.

It's one of four times in the city's history the temperature reached 80 degrees in Buffalo in March. Three of them came in 2012, weather service data shows.

Three of the only four 80-degree readings in March in Buffalo came in 2012. (xmACIS2)

It was also anomalously warm at night. With records being broken for the highest low temperatures on March 17, 18, 20, 21 and 23.

Spring springing early wasn't good for everyone, though.

Pussywillows budded well in advance of Easter Sunday, April 8, and Dyngus Day, April 9.

March 2012 remains on the record books for warmth in many parts of the United States. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

And Buffalo wasn't the only recipient of the extraordinary spring heat wave.

Much of the eastern half of the country was basking under temperatures well above normal. Record-warmest conditions were reported in nearly three dozen states.

National weather data shows that nearly all of the Great Lakes region experienced record warm conditions in March 2012.

The heat wave also extended into Canada: Ontario and Quebec reported record-breaking warmth.

The second climatic shoe fell the next month, in late April, when we paid a price for that early spring: Temperatures dropped below freezing over the last few nights in April, devastating fruit crops across the Niagara Frontier.

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