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Record March Warmth - Summary

After a "winter" of much warmer than normal temperatures, the month of March upped the ante - resembling early summer more than spring for the area. A string of days where the high temperatures reached well into the 70s to middle 80s dominated the middle portions of the month, and some longstanding records fell along the way. Low temperatures on some mornings failed to drop below 60 - rare for March in the Ohio Valley. Below is a graphical and tabular summary of what was an incredibly warm month.

Record Daily Temperatures Set Across OH/KY/IN in March 2012

Below is a table of the number of records (both record high maximum temperatures and record high minimum temperatures) set across all of Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky during the month of March.

It was a much more prolific month for record high maximum temperatures than record high minimums.  What is also impressive to note is, the average difference for each record broken during the month.  While some records were only tied or marginally broken, the average difference for the entire month exceeded 4 degrees per record, indicating that as a whole, daily records were bested easily in most instances.

As the table below clearly shows, the most atypical days for widespread warmth (via number of records broken and amount those records were broken by) were March 20th, and March 21st.

Date # High Maximum Temperature Records Broken or Tied  Average Difference Between New and Old Record # High  Minimum Temperature Records  Broken or Tied  Average Difference Between New and Old Record
3/1 22 2.50 3 1.00
3/2 3 1.00 -- --
3/3 4 1.25 -- --
3/4 1 0.00 -- --
3/7 -- -- 1 0.00
3/8 -- -- 7 1.86
3/10 1 3.00 -- --
3/12 2 3.00 -- --
3/13 -- -- 7 1.57
3/14 23 2.61 1 1.00
3/15 58 2.24 23 4.56
3/16 37 2.96 36 3.83
3/17 34 4.43 28 5.41
3/18 56 2.28 48 3.61
3/19 44 4.09 50 4.46
3/20 100 5.13 63 4.54
3/21 112 5.96 69 6.22
3/22 59 4.97 38 4.57
3/23 66 5.11 44 2.57
3/24 9 4.33 34 2.59
3/25 1 8.00 12 1.75
3/26 1 7.00 1 2.00
3/28 2 1.00 -- --
3/29 3 0.33 -- --
3/30 3 0.33 -- --
3/31 2 0.500 -- --
Total 643 4.20 465 4.15

Greatest Difference Between New and Old Daily Records

For maximum temperatures, the cooperative observer site 5SW of Tipton, IN (period of record of 30 years) on March 23rd bested their previous record high temperature by 17 degrees, by recording a high of 84 degrees and the previous record being 67 degrees in 2007.  

For minimum temperatures, two locations tied for the honor of greatest record difference. The cooperative observer 4WNW of Perrysville, IN (period of record 30 years) on March 21st recorded a minimum temperature of 61 degrees (previous record 44 in 2003).  The cooperative observer 1S of Lagrange, IN (period of record 45 years) on March 21st also recorded a minimum temperature of 61 degrees (previous record 44 degrees in 2000).  Both of these new records shattered the old records by 17 degrees.

Record Daily Maximum Temperatures Set At CVG/DAY/CMH

City Date Old Record New or Tied Record
Columbus March 14 78 78 (Tied)
Columbus March 17 74 75
Columbus March 19 77  78
Columbus March 20 78 84
Columbus March 21 77 85*
Columbus March 22 82 85*
Dayton March 17 73 73 (Tied)
Dayton March 18 77 78
Dayton March 19 78 81
Dayton March 20 80 83
Dayton March 21 78 86
Cincinnati March 17 76 76 (Tied)
Cincinnati March 18 78 79
Cincinnati March 19 81 81 (Tied)
Cincinnati March 20 82 83
Cincinnati March 21 82 83

Record High Daily Minimum Temperatures Set at CVG/DAY/CMH

City Date Old Record New Record
Columbus March 18 56 58
Columbus March 21 61 62
Dayton March 15 54 60
Dayton March 18 53 60
Dayton March 21 58 59
Cincinnati March 15 56 57

 All-Time March Monthly Records Set - Single Day Records

A number of all-time March records were set as a part of this very warm month. Below is a table of the local all-time March records set in the NWS Wilmington, Ohio forecast area.  All records were maximum temperatures, there were no record high all-time March minimums

Location Old Record New Record Type
Columbus, OH 84 (1929/1910) 85 Maximum Temperature
Brookville, IN 86 (1929) 88 Maximum Temperature
Richmond, IN 82 (1998/1986/1981) 85 Maximum Temperature
Celina 3NE 82 (1986) 85 Maximum Temperature
Cheviot, OH 83 (1998) 85 Maximum Temperature
Fernbank, OH 84 (2007/1986) 86 Maximum Temperature
Cincinnati2, OH  85 (1986) 86 Maximum Temperature
Columbus1, OH 83 (1986) 85 Maximum Temperature
Eaton, OH 82 (1986) 84 Maximum Temperature
Hillsboro, OH 85 (1945/1929/1910) 85 (T) Maximum Temperature
Kenton, OH 83 (1910) 85 Maximum Temperature
London, OH 82 (1998/1945/1921) 83 Maximum Temperature
Marysville, OH 83 (1939) 85 Maximum Temperature
Sidney 1S, OH 81 (1986) 86 Maximum Temperature
Springfield, OH 81 (1998/1986) 85 Maximum Temperature
Westerville, OH 82 (1998/1986) 85 Maximum Temperature
Xenia 6SSE, OH 83 (1986/1939/1938) 84 Maximum Temperature
1  At Valley Crossing
2  At Lunken Municipal Airport

All-Time Warmest March on Record

An equally high number of locations broke their record for the warmest March ever recorded when considering average daily temperature.
Location Old Record New Record
Columbus, OH 52.6 (1946) 53.8
Cincinnati, OH 54.7 (1946) 55.3
Dayton, OH 52.8 (1946) 53.6
Brookville, IN 52.1 (1945) 55.0
Bellefontaine, OH 50.9(1946) 51.5
Circleville, OH 51.9 (1945/1946) 53.7
Newark, OH 49.9 (1945) 50.0
Urbana, OH 51.1 (1946) 51.2
Celina 3NE 47.3 (1973) 54.0
Cheviot, OH 48.9 (2000) 54.7
Cincinnati1, OH  51.9 (1973) 54.7
Fairfield, OH 53.6 (1946) 54.6
Greenville, OH 50.6 (1946) 52.2
London, OH 50.3 (1921) 50.4
Marysville, OH 49.3 (1946) 52.3
Sidney 1S, OH 42.9 (2000) 51.5
Springfield, OH 46.7 (1973) 51.2
Westerville, OH 48.2 (1973) 54.7
Wilmington 3N, OH 52.0 (1945/1946) 52.5
Xenia 6SSE, OH 51.7 (1945) 55.8
1  At Lunken Municipal Airport

Graphics

These graphics, courtesy of the Midwest Regional Climate Center, show some of the interesting aspects of the extremely warm March.

Snowfall Departure from Normal  -  Regional Scale

Gridded Daily Data Map

Monthly Temperature Departure from Normal  -  Regional Scale

Gridded Daily Data Map

Monthly Temperature Departure from Normal - CONUS Scale

Gridded Daily Data Map

- Seth Binau, Science and Operations Officer (seth.binau@noaa.gov)


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Page last modified: Apr 06, 2012.
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