Feel like winter has lasted longer than usual? You can thank March for that.
This month brought the snowiest day of the winter: 8.6 inches fell March 2. It included a dozen days of below-average temperatures. And it was colder and snowier than February.
Otherwise, the astronomical winter season that started Dec. 21 hasn’t really been one of harsh extremes.
“February was a little bit warmer. This month we’re a little below,” said Aaron Reynolds, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service. “If you average it all out, we’re pretty much where we should be.”
The official transition from the winter to spring comes at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday.
Spring begins today, see graphic for details. pic.twitter.com/HMaEJQrDj9
— NWS Burlington (@NWSBurlington) March 20, 2018
When the final snowflakes are tabulated on the winter season, weather service data will show:
- There was nearly 20 inches more snow than average, but it came in consistent, smaller doses.
- There was measurable snow on 43 days, one more than average.
- A 3.6-inch snowfall March 14 pushed Buffalo past 100 inches on the snow season (including fall totals) for the first time in three years.
Meanwhile, temperatures averaged slightly below normal. The thermometer ran close to a degree lower during the day, and one-half of a degree at night.
There were three days with highs in the single digits. They came within a single week – Dec. 31, 9 degrees,and Jan. 5 and 6, 4 degrees. There were also five days when lows dropped below zero, including one in late December and four more in January. The average is three days.
Don’t let the official change to spring change your immediate routine. Hats, mittens and the car heater will still be good ideas for at least another week or so, forecasts show.
“Longer-term, it looks like we’ll start warming up,” Reynolds said.
Here are the highs, lows and totals of the astronomical winter, Dec. 21 to March 20:
- Total inches: 84.8
- 30-year average: 65.0 inches
- Snowiest 3 days: 8.6 inches on March 2, 6.3 inches on Jan. 17, 4.0 inches on Jan. 12
- Measurable snow on 43 days. The average is 42 days.
Coldest: Minus 5 degrees on Jan. 7
Warmest: 68 degrees on Feb. 21
Average temperature 26.8 degrees
30-year average: 27.4 degrees
By month average temperature (from average): January, 24.2 degrees (-0.7 degrees); February, 31.9 degrees (5.6 degrees); and March, 29.0 degrees (minus 2.6 degrees)
How often were the highs in the teens? The 20s? The 60s?
0-9 degrees: 3 days
10-19 degrees: 13 days
20-29 degrees: 14 days
30-39 degrees: 31 days
40-49 degrees: 16 days
50-59 degrees: 7 days
60-69 degrees: 4 days