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March Was Cold – But Not ‘Real’ Cold

OSWEGO, NY – The average temperature for March 2014 was 27.0 degrees. That is 6.9 degrees below average.

That’s real cold. But not that cold for Oswego.

Wet snow and ice cling to a tree in late March
Wet snow and ice cling to a tree in late March

“It was cold. But it only ended up in a three-way tie for the 15th coldest March in Oswego (going back to 1855),” according to Bill Gregway, local observer for the National Weather Service. “So, yeah, it was cold. But we’ve had it a lot colder!”

The highest temperature last month was 49 degrees on the 28th and the lowest was -2 degrees on the 6th.

There were no records set last month.

Total precipitation last month was 2.74 inches. That is 0.62-inch below average.

And, for the year, total precipitation at the end of March stands at 8.79 inches. That is 1.19 inches below average.

The greatest precipitation in a 24-hour period was 1.27 inches, all rain, on the 30th.

Snowfall for the month was 20.4 inches, which is 1.1 inches above average. At the end of March, the winter’s total was 153.5 inches. That is 7.0 inches above average.

The greatest snowfall in a 24-hour period was 10.0 inches on the 12th, “more or less,” Gregway said, adding conditions that day made it nearly impossible to get accurate readings.

There were 15 days of measurable precipitation; a streak of 4 days in a row and 2 runs of 3 days in a row.

There were 6 days of just a trace, with 3 of them being consecutive.

And, no precipitation fell on 10 days, 3 of those were in a row.

The area did get freezing rain on 2 days, Gregway added.

The number of cloudy days, 16, was 2 below average.

The number of partly cloudy days, 12 was 4 above average.

And the number of clear days, 3, was 2 below average.

The area received 35 percent of the possible amount of sunshine. That is 8 percentages below average.

There were no thunderstorms or foggy days, both of which are 1 below average.

While the other Great Lakes were frozen over this winter, only a third of Lake Ontario was ice-covered. In March, it seemed most of it could be found at The Loop.
While the other Great Lakes were frozen over this winter, only a third of Lake Ontario was ice-covered. In March, it seemed most of it could be found at The Loop.

“We had 10 days where the high was 40 degrees or above and 1 day where the low was below zero,” Gregway said. “There were 5 times when the low was in the single numbers and 5 times when the overnight low was 32 degrees or warmer.”

The highest barometric pressure was 30.67 on the 5th and the lowest was 29.25 on the 12th.

The strongest winds were north-northeasterly greater than 45 mph on the 12th.

“We also had winds greater than 20 mph 9 times. It was a windy month,” Gregway said.

A lot was going on on the 12th, Gregway pointed out.

Besides the low barometric pressure and high winds, there were “near blizzard conditions with heavy snow and strong gusting winds making for near zero visibility at times,” he said. “That was our biggie for March.”

Last year, March came in 0.1-degree colder. The high temperature was 57 degrees and the low was 17 degrees.

Total precipitation was 1.21 inches and snowfall was 12.1 inches; for the winter it was 103.5 inches.

The warmest March is not that long ago – 46.7 degrees in 2012. The coldest is 1885 (18.8 degrees).

March’s highest temperature is 83 degrees recorded in 1945, 1986 and 1998. The lowest is – 11 degrees in 1872.

The wettest March is 1859 with 7.07 inches. The driest is 1885 with just 0.48-inch.

March 1971 holds the dubious honor of being the snowiest – 53.6 inches. Not far behind is 1947 with 47.4 inches.

The month received just a trace of snow in 1962, 2009 and 2010.