March weather a grab-bag

Sun, hail, snow, rain, warm, cold ... you name it, March probably had it.

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WALLA WALLA -- Last month's weather was a joke.

As in, "Well, if you don't like it, wait 10 minutes and it'll change."

Wind, hail, rain and even some sunshine all made an appearance, sometimes all in one day. There was even a short-lived snowstorm which blew in two days after spring officially arrived on March 20.

Thanks to all that, March didn't disappoint in terms of precipitation. The month finished with 3.70 inches of rain and snow, a mark 1.40 inches above normal. That amount boosted the total for this year to 7.43 inches, which is 0.84 inches above normal. The surplus precipitation also helped raise the total for the water year, which runs from October through September, to 11.02 inches. However, that mark remained 2.59 inches below normal, mainly due to the abnormally dry weather in November and December.

In terms of temperature, March was slightly warmer than normal, but not abnormally so. The overall average was about 46 degrees, about 1 degree above normal. The high and low temperatures showcased the month's split personality with the coldest night falling on March 7 when the mercury dropped to 26 degrees and the warmest day occurring two days later, March 9, with a high of 71 degrees.

There was no shortage of windy days as well. There were seven days with wind gusts topping 40 mph. The strongest gust occurred on March 29 with a top speed of 45 mph as recorded at Walla Walla Regional Airport.

According to the Climate Prediction Center, warmer days and nights are supposed to be on the way. Normal highs rise from 62 degrees at start of April to about 66 degrees by the end of the month while normal lows rise from about 40 degrees to about 43 degrees. The normal precipitation for April is 1.92 inches, based on a 30-year average.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318.

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