Spring off to a wet start in Walla Walla Valley

March was wetter than usual, but mild, with no temperatures below freezing.

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WALLA WALLA -- If you mix spring and winter, do you get "sprinter?"

Some might say that's what March delivered in the way of weather.

Winter officially ended and spring began with the vernal equinox on March 20. Surrounding that was plenty of rain and wind, but for the first time since October, no freezing temperatures.

The month finished well ahead of average for rainfall with 2.8 inches total, a mark .60 above normal. The heaviest precipitation came on March 21 when .42 inches fell. Overall there were more days with measurable precipitation than without. Rainfall totaling at least .01 inches fell on 20 days while there were 11 days with zero or trace precipitation.

The month's rainfall boosted the year's total to 5.8 inches, which is .62 inches below normal. Since October, the water year precipitation as measured at Walla Walla Regional Airport has been 13.10 inches, which is .45 inches below normal.

Four days shared the month's high mark for temperature, 63 degrees, while the lowest low, 33 degrees, occurred March 8 and 17, according to the National Weather Service. The average temperature was just below 47 degrees, a mark slightly above normal.

The highest wind gust was 59 mph which occurred on March 13.

According to the federal Climate Prediction Center, the outlook for April is about the same as it was for March, which is for below-normal temperatures and above-normal rainfall.

Normal highs for Walla Walla rise from 62 degrees at the start of this month to about 66 degrees at the end. Nights should be getting warmer as well with lows going from about 40 degrees to just under 43 degrees. The 30-year normal precipitation is 1.83 inches.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318. Check out his blog at blogs.ublabs.org/randomthoughts.

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