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Weather Vault: March 2014

Here's a summary of the weather headlines in March 2014.

March 2014 started with a large bust of a snowstorm.  Though the forecast called for 6 to 10 inches, the storm that was supposed to hit on the 2nd weakened on the 1st.  Saturday, the 1st was a mostly cloudy day, with some freezing mist Saturday evening.  Sunday morning still saw some light snow with totals aroudn 1 to 3 inches.  However, most of the area was done after that.  Areas along I-70 did fight sleet off and on throughout most of the day, but the storm was far from what it looked like two days before. 

Monday, the 3rd was a quiet and cold day with temperatures around zero to start the day and highs in the upper teens.  The warming trend continued into Tuesday with partly cloudy skies and highs in the upper 20s and lower 30s.  Wednesday's temperatures continued to be stuck in the lower 30s.  Wednesday night also had a few light snow showers, but it wasn't enough to slow down the warming trend. We started to see the temperatures begin to rise Thursday as we reached the upper 30s and low 40s under mostly sunny skies.  Friday was even better with mostly sunny skies and temperatures near 50.

We took a step back on Saturday, the 8th with a light wintry mix.  Some places saw a brief moderate snowfall, but accumulations were not noted.  Temperatures also struggled with highs only in the lower to middle 40s.  Sunday however kicked the warm-up back on with highs again around 50!  We continued the warming trend into Monday and Tuesday with highs in the lower to middle 60s for both days!

Tuesday night and Wednesday were a different story.  Storms returned to central Illinois for Tuesday night and by Wednesday morning it was all snow.  Most of the area saw a very slushy 1 to 3 inches of snow, but heavier amounts were noted north of I-74.  Even though the heavy snow ended in the morning hours, the afternoon hours saw some light snow and strong enough wind to cause blowing and drifting snow.  Temperatures also spent most of the day in the 20s with wind chills around 10. 

Thursday morning we dropped to the middle teens, but started a recovery from there.  Thursday afternoon was in the middle to upper 30s and reaching up in the 40s by the early evening. Friday reached highs around 60.  Both days were mostly sunny.  The warm-up continued into Saturday with a few more clouds and temperatures in the mid 50s. Sunday put a bump in the warm-up with high temperatures only reaching 30 with an isolated wintry mix throughout the day. Partly cloudy skies returned on Monday as the warm-up began again with high temperatures around 40.  That warm-up continued into Tuesday with a breezy day and highs in the 50s.  Tuesday night though saw some scattered rain and breezy conditions.  This rain would stick around into Wednesday morning and bring colder temperatures.  Wednesday, the 19th, was a cloudy and breezy day with highs in the upper 40s. 

Thursday, the 20th, we started another warm-up with temperatures in the middle 50s and partly cloudy skies.  Friday was into the middle and upper 60s, but breezy as well.  However, the warmer air was short lived as a cold front brought isolated showers to the area.  The weekend was around 15 degrees below normal, but mostly sunny for both days with temperatures only reaching the upper 30s to low 40s.  Monday's temperatures kepts on the same track with partly cloudy skies and a wintry mix in the evening.  The wintry mix would be mostly snow and by Tuesday morning there was around 1" of snow on the ground in some spots  The rest of Tuesday was dry, but cold with temperatures only in the upper 20s and wind chills around the middle teens.  Wednesday was only slightly better with highs around the lower 40s and plenty of sunshine. 

Thursday, the 27th, was a rainy day that got a bit heavy in spots. By the time the rain was done on Friday morning, some places had reached a full inch of rain.  Highs were only in the lower to middle 50s for both Thursday and Friday.  Friday night saw a wave of precipitation that ended early Saturday morning, but did bring a bit of a wintry mix.  However, most of Saturday and all of Sunday were nice days with highs in the upper 50s on Saturday and highs in the lower 60s for Sunday.  Monday, the 31st, was quite warm as well with highs in the upper 60s, but the day and month ended with a round of isolated thunderstorms. 

State Numbers 

The state of Illinois has the 8th coldest March on record in 2014 with a statewide average temperature of 33.8.  That's 7 degrees below the average.  That's 5 months in a row with temperatures much below average.  The statewide precipitation was 1.49" below average and the 11th driest on record for March.  While we were below normal on overall precipitation, we were above normal on snowfall. 

National Numbers 

The U.S. saw the coldest March on record in 2014.  This was driven mostly by the eastern half of the U.S. having very cold temperatures.  At the same time, the average amount of precipitation was only 0.22" below normal.  Here's the full report. 

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