The month of March 2005 was cooler and drier than normal. March is a transition month between the cool season and warm season patterns. It usually reflects considerable fluctuations in temperature. The month lived up to its reputation for being windy, as several days saw gusts in excess of 30 mph. Though there were frequent storm systems crossing the region, most left little or no rainfall. Compared with last year, the month was 4.6 deg. cooler, and 0.42 inch drier. Year-to-date rainfall was 0.86 inch less through the 31st in 2005 than was the case in 2004. The 30-day outlook for March 2005 had called for below normal temperatures and near normal precipitation.
The week February 27-March 5 saw temperatures about 5 deg. cooler than normal, and rainfall about 50 percent of normal. Upper air disturbances accompanying cold fronts on the 27th and 3rd brought the week's rainfall--which in both instances was light. The front of the 27th reinforced an existing cold air mass, with little warming before the front arrived on the 3rd. Cloudiness increased in the area on the 5th ahead of an upper air storm which crossed early in the following week. Trace amounts of rain occurred on the 5th at a few stations in the south. The Sabine and Neches Rivers were in minor flood from the rains of the previous week augmented by the lighter amounts of the current week. The week's average temperature was 52.3 deg., and rainfall was 0.51 inch. This was 7.8 deg. cooler than the previous week. Compared with the same week in 2004, the week was 8.8 deg. cooler and 0.81 inch drier.
The week March 6-12 saw near normal temperatures and rainfall about one-tenth of normal. Cold fronts on the 7th and 9th brought the week's only rainfall. Tropical Maritime air over the area early in the week resulted in above normal temperatures, with below normal readings behind the two fronts at mid-week. At late-week, upper air high pressure combined with dry Tropical Continental air to send the mercury back to above normal levels. The week's average temperature was 59.9 deg., with precipitation amounting to 0.10 inch. This was 7.6 deg. warmer than the previous week. Compared with the same week in 2004, the week was 2.2 deg. warmer, and there was no rainfall in 2004.
The week March 13-19 saw temperatures about 6 deg. cooler than normal, and rainfall about 5 percent of normal. The week's only rain came as moist air overrode a shallow layer of cold air at mid-week. This air mass arrived on the night of the 13th, and lingered into the 18th. A light freeze occurred on the morning of the 17th. Early in the week, Tropical Maritime air was present as was the case again late in the week. The week's average temperature was 54.4 deg., which was 5.5 deg. cooler than the previous week. Rainfall was 0.04 inch. Compared with the same week in 2004, the week was 11.4 deg. cooler, and 0.69 inch drier.
The week March 20-26 saw near normal temperatures and near normal rainfall. A storm system crossed early in the week, bringing most of the week's rain. It was followed by cooler air, which held down temperatures until much warmer air returned on the 25th. Another storm began crossing on the 26th, again lowering temperatures and bringing light rain.The storms of the 21st and 26th brought a few occurrences of severe weather, but there was no general outbreak. The week's average temperature was 61.3 deg., which was 6.9 deg. warmer than the previous week. Precipitation was 0.75 inch. Compared with the same week in 2004, the week was 4.1 deg. cooler, and 0.63 inch wetter.
The final five days of the month saw rain on the 27th with the storm, followed by a brief cool period with warming beginning on the 29th. Weak cold fronts on the 30th and 31st had little effect on temperatures.
The reporting period for temperatures and phenomenon on each day is for the twenty-four hours ending at midnight hours GMT--6 p.m. CST and 7 p.m. CDT. The reporting period for precipitation is for the twenty-four hours ending at noon GMT--6 a.m. CST and 7 a.m. CDT. All times are given using the twenty-four hour clock, and are expressed in Greenwich Mean Time.
Observations are from NWS Station 41/9207/4 in Tyler, Texas. The term "normal" refers to averages from the standard climatic period 1971-2000.
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March 2005, RECORDS AND SUMMARY: