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Weather roundup: A March back to winter


The monthly temperature for March 2017 -- 33 degrees -- was below normal in Buffalo for the first time since last April.

And, for the first time since 1984, March was a colder month in Buffalo than February.

With spring a few days away, it was cold enough to snow on the Spring Street sign in Springville, March 14. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)

Highs and Lows

HIGH: 62 degrees, March 24.

LOW: 7 degrees, March 5.

Monthly Averages for March

HIGH: 40 degrees (2 degrees below normal). Last year: 48.8 degrees.

LOW: 25.9 degrees (0.1 degree below normal). Last year: 31 degrees.

MEAN: 33 degrees, (1.0 degrees below normal). Last year: 39.9 degrees.

Daily highs

20s: 7 days // 30s: 7 days // 40s: 10 days // 50s: 4 days // 60s: 3 days



March 2017 was the snowiest March since 2008.

The 26.8 inches of snow in March finished as the eighth snowiest March in the city's recorded weather history dating back to 1870.

The total doubled the average March snowfall in Buffalo.

North Buffalo got heavy snow all day on March 14. Shoveling was work to Abby Adams who took care of her sidewalk on Wesley Avenue in North Buffalo, but, to Lincoln, her black lab, it's nothing but fun and games. It was the snowiest day of the month in Buffalo. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

It also snowed more in March than January (11 inches) or February (5 inches) combined.

About half of the total was received on a single day -- March 14 -- when 13.2 inches fell as part of a Nor'easter that racked the Eastern Seaboard.

Measurable snow was recorded on 10 days during March.

Besides the snow, it was also a wet month.

In all, 4.36 inches of precipitation fell, including snow and rain. That's 34 percent more than average.

The added precipitation also officially brought the Buffalo Niagara region entirely out of an 11-month drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

At long last, WNY drought is over

By the numbers:

Total March Snowfall: 26.8 inches, (13.9 inches above normal).

30-year average: 12.9 inches.

March 2016: 0.9 inches.

March 2015: 9.6 inches.

Total precipitation (rain and snow): 4.36 inches, (1.49 inches above normal).

Daily highs: Snowfall, 13.2 inches, March 14. Precipitation, 0.81 inches, March 31.

Historical records: Snowfall, 38.5 inches, March 1936. Precipitation, 7.03 inches, March 1936.


  • The 13.2 inches of snow on March 14 broke a daily record for the date set in 1998 (6.5 inches).
  • The 4.9 inches of snow on March 15 broke a daily record for the date set in 1916 (4.8 inches).

Buffalo springs into the top snowiest cities in America



Two significant wind storms raked the Buffalo Niagara region during March.

The second one, on March 8, packed the bigger punch.

High winds produce walls of water on March 8 as they crash into the Outer Harbor break-wall on Lake Erie in Buffalo. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

With wind gusts clocked at more than 70 mph in some places, the storm knocked out power to nearly 100,000 utility customers across the region.

For the region's official measuring station at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, the strongest gust was 66 mph. It was recorded at 2:24 p.m. on March 8.

Storm stories: Residents, businesses cope with aftermath of wind storm

A week earlier, another strong wind storm hit the region bringing the second and third strongest wind gusts of the month: 50 mph on March 1 and 46 mph on March 2.


Lake Erie

Bolstered by February's warmth, Lake Erie remained almost entirely free of ice during March.

The water temperature at Buffalo remained above the freezing mark for the entire month.

It started March at 35 degrees, dipped to 33 degrees during mid-month cold snap, and then recovered to 36 degrees by the end of the month.

That allowed crews to begin removing the ice boom early this year -- on March 6.

Downtown Buffalo shows beyond ice formations hanging over the rocks at Hamburg Beach on March 23. #EveryDayAPhoto (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)


Feb. 1: 35 degrees / March 29*: 36 degrees

Highest temperature: 36 degrees, March 2, 9-10, 29. (Historical High: 41 degrees, March 24, 26, 29-31, 2012)

Lowest temperature: 33 degrees, March 15-23.

Average temperature: 34.3 degrees

* most recent data available

Ice Cover

March 1: 0.00 percent (normal 60.78 percent) // March 31: 0.00 percent (normal 15.85 percent)

Highest percentage: 3.44 percent, March 17

Lowest percentage: 0.00 percent, multiple days

Average percentage in 2017: 0.40 percent

'Ice volcanoes' erupt on Lake Erie shores


Three other interesting facts from March 2017:

  • The 66 mph wind gust at 2:24 p.m., March 8 at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport was the strongest wind gust reported there since Jan. 17, 2012 when a gust of 67 mph was recorded.
  • March 2017 bucked the trend of warmer than average months in Buffalo. Previous to March, 17 of the previous 18 months were above-average with the only exception being last April.
  • The 4.36 inches of precipitation made March the 14th wettest on record in Buffalo.

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