Columbia Shatters All-Time Heat Record for March

1:54 PM, Apr 2, 2012   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - March continued the trend from the warm winter, but in a big way. 

The mean temperature for March was 65.4 degrees breaking the previous record of 64.7 set in 1945.  It was most noticeable in the average high temperature which was 77.7 degrees beating the old record in 1945 by two degrees.  The average low temperature was the third warmest on record. MORE: Jim Gandy's Blog--Record March in Columbia

A most unusual pattern persisted in the upper atmosphere much of the month.  A ridge of high pressure became the dominant feature across the eastern U.S.  This resulted in a blocking pattern which deflected most of the storm systems north into Canada and kept the coldest air bottled up in that region.

It also turned out to be a dry month with a total rainfall of 2.21 inches.  This was about 1.5 inches below normal making it the 25th driest March on record.  In addition it was the 23rd month out of the past 27 that was drier than normal.  Thus the drought continues across the area.

The pattern is likely to continue through April.  The Climate Prediction Center is forecasting warmer and drier than normal conditions for the Midlands.  In fact, temperatures will be near 90 degrees this afternoon which will be near record levels.

The top 5 warmest:

Mean Temperature  

Year | Temperature

2012 65.4
1945 64.7
1921 63.9
1907 62.5
1974 61.7

Avg. High Temperature 

Year | Temperature

2012 77.7
1945 75.7
1974 75.4
1921 74.6
1997 74.6

Avg. Low Temperature

Year |  Temperature

1945 53.9
1921 53.4
2012 53.2
1903 53.2
1946 51.7


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