After 4 months of extremely warm temperatures, Muskegon once again saw below normal temperatures in March. Temperatures were 2.2° below normal.
During the winter temperatures were +7.5° on average. March, the first month of meteorological spring, had temperatures that lagged. It seem our accelerated warm weather was being retarded. 20 of the 31 days were below normal.
The lagging was noticeable. On the 21st, the first full day of spring it howled full on from the north. The 22nd saw a morning temp of 17° and winter overstaying it’s welcome. Next week on the 25th flag poles quivered and spray broke over Muskegon Lake sea walls as the temp hit 12°. The next day it was 24° literally twice as warm!
The low temperature came on the 4th. Despite the below norm average a high temperature record was achieved on the 9th when it was 60°.
Precipitation results were mixed. 19.5 inches of snow were received +7.2 inches from the norm. However, 10.5 inches of this snow came on the 2nd. This was the 1st sign that March might not continue the accelerated warmth pattern. March 2002 will be recorded as the 8th snowiest March tying with March 1940.
Rain fall, on the other hand, was below normal. Only 1.51 inches fell, .85 below norm. Before a scan .07 inches of rain came on the 29th, March had seen 19 straight days without measurable precipitation. This stretch gave March the impression of a dry month.
At 10.1 knots the average wind speed was just below the normal average of 10.2 knots. Windiest day was on Saturday the 9th, an average of 20 knots. The least windy day was the 27th at 4.6 knots. On the 27th I observed, “big bubble of high should make things easy today.”
Most common wind direction was south which was recorded on 15 days. Least common was east with only 3 occurrences. In March 2001 the predominant winds were westerly.
The last two Aprils have seen temperatures revert to above normal after below normal March temps. Maybe spring will arrive this month.
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