March 2011

I have several ways to describe the climate of March 2011, mostly four letter words in addition to RAIN.

We had about 11 inches of snow last month, also most of it actually fell during February as the COOP observer observations time of observation is 6PM, thus counting snowfall on the 28th of Feb after 6PM as occurring in March.

March was notable in terms of its dreariness

Some humiliating numbers:

  1. 21 of 31 days of measurable precipitation
  2. Warmest day only 56F, overall maximum temperatures in the greater inland northwest were about 1-5 F cooler than normal, whereas minimum temperatures were actually a bit above normal.


This has all been part of a rather stubborn regime reminiscent of La Nina conditions since about mid-February with an enhanced deeper than normal trough parked off the BC coast <> which facilitated a continual stream of synoptic-activity through the Pacific NW as the subpolar jet dominated the subtropical jet.

To date the accumulated snow stands at 82.9″, about 68% above normal for this point in the season. Chris Cox who has spent the winter in Greenland forecasted 83″, so he is hoping for nominal accumulations the rest of April.

Across most of the western US, aside from AZ/NM which continue in drought, SWE numbers are rather high with much of the Sierra Nevada having one of their best snow years maybe in the last 15 years or so

About April.  Climatological “mean” snowfall is 1.2 inches, although this number is heavily swayed by a few years with higher amounts (record is 8.2 inches) and many goose-eggs.

We’ll declare the winner with the next edition on May 1.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized by John Abatzoglou. Bookmark the permalink.

About John Abatzoglou

John is an associate professor of Geography at the University of Idaho. John's interests are centered around climate and weather of the American West and their impacts to people and natural resources of the West. John and his Applied Climate Science Lab at the University of Idaho have published nearly 100 papers and book chapters on climate science, meteorology, and applied climate science connecting climate to water resources, wildfire and agriculture. The research group also develops web-based climate services that connect climate data with decision makers to help improve climate readiness of societies and ecosystems.

One thought on “March 2011

  1. Pingback: March 2012 | Climate for the Inland Northwest US

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s