March 2013 one of coldest on record across Kentucky
|Date: Thursday, April 4th, 2013||Return to Archive|
What a difference a year makes. Following a record warm March in 2012, a persistent pattern of wintry weather across Kentucky left March 2013 as one of the coldest on record.
The statewide average temperature for March based on the Kentucky Mesonet, the Commonwealth’s official source of climatological observations, was 39.8 degrees while the statewide average temperature for March 2012 was 57.9 degrees, according to Dr. Stuart Foster, state climatologist and director of the Kentucky Mesonet.
Based on historical records from stations operated by the National Weather Service, 2013 was the coldest March on a statewide basis since 1969, when the average temperature for the month was 38.3 degrees.
In the Bowling Green area, after a second consecutive mild and mostly snowless winter, March 2013 brought sharply colder temperatures and five days of measurable snowfall.
March temperatures for Bowling Green were 5.5 degrees below normal and ranked as the 12th coldest March since 1894 and among the coldest since 1971, according to WKU meteorology faculty member Greg Goodrich. March 1996 was similarly cold but no official temperature records were collected in Bowling Green that year.
The cold March was surprising for many considering the winter months of December, January and February were 3.8 degrees above normal and ranked as the 11th warmest winter on record. This was the second consecutive mild winter for Kentucky, as the winter of 2011-12 ranked as the second warmest on record.
The big difference between this year and last is that March 2012 was by the far the warmest March on record at 12.7 degrees above normal. March 2012 had 11 days with highs in the 80s and another 11 days with highs in the 70s, but March 2013 had only three days with highs in the 70s and 11 days with highs in the 30s and 40s.
Snowfall in March was 2.5 inches, which ranked as the 20th snowiest March on record. This was also the 12th time on record that March had more snowfall than the other three winter months combined, as only 1.3 inches of snow fell from December through February. The half-inch of snow that fell on both March 25 and March 26 ranks as the latest occurring measurable snowfall in Bowling Green since March 1996, which experienced an inch of snow on April 1.
“While the cold and snow of March 2013 may have left many in Kentucky with spring fever, we must not forget about the historic March 1960,” Dr. Goodrich said. Nearly 3 feet of snow fell over Bowling Green in the first 11 days of the month that year, he noted, which by itself would rank as the fourth snowiest winter in history. High temperatures stayed in the 30s for much of the month, which left the average temperature for the month at 15.8 degrees below normal.
“A question on the minds of many local farmers and gardeners is whether or not cold and snowy Marches can predict the type of summer we might have here in southcentral Kentucky,” Dr. Goodrich said. “Unfortunately, analysis shows that there are no statistical relationships between cold and snowy Marches and the following summer temperatures.”
Previous cold Marches have been just as likely to have been followed by hot summers as cool summer, he said. Summer rainfall tends to be slightly greater in years following cold and snowy Marches, but the relationship is not statistically significant. “Just as with the stock market,” Dr. Goodrich said, “past performance in weather is often not a good indicator of future performance.”
Dr. Foster noted that in late March 2012 farmers were already planting corn, unaware that the early warmth would be followed by severe drought as summer arrived. Some areas of western Kentucky received more precipitation on March 8, when more than 3 inches of rain fell, than they would receive for the entire spring season in 2012.
One benefit from this year’s wintry weather pattern has been the reduced occurrence of severe weather, Dr. Foster said. Last year’s tornado outbreak on March 2 was one of the worst in Kentucky’s history, but only one tornado was reported across the state in March of this year, an EF-1 tornado that touched down briefly in Pulaski County on March 24.
“The dynamic nature of our climate is evident in the extreme contrast in weather that we experienced last year and this year in the month of March,” Dr. Foster said.
Contact: Greg Goodrich, (270) 745-5986; or Stuart Foster, (270) 745-5983.
- All Categories
- March 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS October 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS March 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2012 E-Newsletter
- April 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS November 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS March 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2013 E-Newsletter
- JUNE 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS May/June 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2013 E-Newsletter
- Archived CHHS News
- CHHS October 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2015 E-Newsletter
- December 2015 ICYMI
- January 2016 ICYMI
- MAY 2016 ICYMI
- February 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS July 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS March 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2011 E-Newsletter
- All Categories
- Academic Outreach
- Continuing & Professional Development
- Online Learning
- Summer Sessions
- Winter Term
- Career & Workforce Development
- Lifelong Learning
- Society for Lifelong Learning
- WKU On Demand
- Study Away
- Faculty-Led Study Abroad
- Center for Innovative Teaching & Learning
- Cohort Programs
- Dual Credit
- Training Resources & Event Planning Services
History will be made on Nov. 29 when WKU will get its first chapter of SALUTE, a national honor society for student veterans. Seven charter members will be inducted into SALUTE at 5 p.m. in the Veterans Resource Center, 410 Tate Page Hall.
Three alumni from WKU’s Department of Geography and Geology who work for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) have been assigned to Puerto Rico to assist in post-hurricane recovery efforts.
The Department of Student Financial Assistance will be closed from Wednesday, Nov. 22nd through Friday, Nov. 25th. The office will reopen on Monday, Nov. 27th.
Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view,
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,