Saturday, April 2, 2016

Grand Rapids, Michigan, experienced a temperature anomaly of 5.0 degrees F above normal in March 2016

Temperature averaged 40.6 degrees F, according to the preliminary monthly climate data. The cumulative reported anomaly year to date is +9.3 degrees F.

The very long term mean average temperature in March, however, is 34.0 degrees F using the full NOWdata, so NOAA is saying the normal average is 35.6 degrees F based on a smaller data set which does not incorporate the full record available. Otherwise the anomaly would be 6.6 degrees F, not 5.0. For the year to date, the anomaly from the long term mean is +13.9 degrees F.

Precipitation was 2.57 inches above normal, coming in at 4.94 inches. The very long term mean precipitation average is 2.46 inches in February, however, not 2.37, meaning precipitation was 2.48 inches above the long term normal.

Snowfall was 10.1 inches, 0.9 inches above the mean average of 9.2 for the month calculated going back to the beginning of the record. January is typically the snowiest month at 18.5 inches, followed by December at 15.9 and then February at 13.1. For the season so far, which is effectively over, snowfall has come to 51.7 inches, 11.8 inches below the long term mean average for the season so far (63.5 inches), or 18.6%. Snow is still expected in April.

Heating degree days in March at 749 were 21.4% below the very long term mean of 953. Cumulatively for the season HDD are running 1031 below the normal of 5857, about 17.6%, thanks to the El Nino.

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