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March was a Wet Month

Warm and dry to start, wet and cold to end

March is the first day of meteorological spring and normally marks a transitional period here in Northern Michigan, which means a wide variety of weather. A usual March welcomes in highs reaching the low 40s to low 50s and lows touching the mid-20s to mid-30s. The chance of snow does drop off, while the rain showers increase. This does not mean we don’t see any snow during the month, with typical snowfall ranging from 5-15 inches depending on location.

March started on the warm side with highs ranging from the upper 40s to mid-60s between the 1st through 17th. So temperatures were well above average to start the month. The middle of the month marked a drop in highs into the 30s and 40s falling below average for many days to round out March. Still, the above-average temperatures won out for the month with most National Weather Service reporting sites seeing positive temperature departures.

Some particularly notable temperatures for March occurred in The Soo, where several daily temperature records were broken:


March 1st: 48 degrees (broke the 1998 record of 45 degrees)

March 2nd: 48 degrees (broke the 1964 record of 46 degrees)

March 4th: 57 degrees (broke the 1894 record of 50 degrees)

March 11th: 52 degrees (tied with 2012)


Other locations broke records as well:

Traverse City - March 1st 51 degrees, March 4th 64 degrees

Gaylord - March 2nd 54 degrees, March 4th 69 degrees

Houghton Lake - March 4th 68 degrees


Alpena - March 1st 51 degrees, March 4th 64 degrees

As far as rainfall went, the month of March started on the dry side with little to no rain moving through to begin the month. The end of the month did, however, welcome in a few different systems that brought several rounds of rain. This onslaught of systems allowed us to end the month above average for precipitation.

Despite the abundance of precipitation, snowfall still fell below the mark. With well above average temperatures taking control to start the month, most precipitation fell as rain. We did still see some flakes fly throughout the month, but it came in short bursts and normally did not stick to the ground for long. These short-lived bursts of light snow meant we ended March in a snow deficit.

Overall, this March lived up to its title as a transitional month! With a warm and dry start, and a cool wet end.

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