The month of March 2006 was slightly warmer and slightly wetter than normal. It was another month of sharp contrast, with very warm temperatures at the beginning and end of the month, and well below normal temperatures during the middle. Compared with March 2005, the month was 3.6 degrees warmer, and 2.76 inches wetter. Year-to-date rainfall through month's end was 4.04 inches greater in 2006 than in 2005. The thirty-day outlook for March 2006 had called for above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation.
The first week and a half of the month sharply reversed February's trend of near to below normal temperatures and ample precipitation. Between the 1st and 12th, three record high temperatures were tied or established. The week February 26-March 4 saw temperatures about 6 degrees warmer than normal, and rainfall under 5 percent of normal. Upper air high pressure built over the region early in the week. Cool temperatures behind a strong cold front of the 25th quickly gave way to very warm readings. A cold front on the 2nd lowered temperatures only slightly. A record high maximum was established on the 1st. The week's only rainfall was with the cold front of the 25th. The week's average temperature was 61.9 deg., and rainfall was 0.02 inch. This was 18.0 deg. Warmer than the previous week. Compared with the same week in 2005, the week was 9.8 deg. Warmer, and 0.51 inch drier.
The week March 5-11 was warmer still in both absolute and relative terms, with temperatures 12 degrees above normal and rainfall about one-half normal. A cold front on the night of the 8th brought the only rainfall, and short-lived cooling. Returning Tropical Maritime air on the night of the 10th brought very warm and humid conditions for the weekend, and a record high minimum temperature on the 11th. The week's average temperature was 70.3 deg., and rainfall was 0.48 inch. This was 8.4 deg. Warmer than the previous week Compared with the same week in 2005, the week was 11.4 deg. Warmer and 0.38 inch wetter..
The week March 12-18 saw temperatures about 2 degrees warmer than normal, and rainfall about 120 percent of normal. A pronounced cooling trend began early in the week, which persisted through late in the month. At the beginning of the week, Tropical Maritime air dominated. It was replaced by a strong cold front on the 13th, which brought rainfall and lowered temperatures. There was a brief return of Tropical Maritime air on the 16th, which was replaced by a strong storm system and cold front on the following day. This brought general and localized heavy rainfall between the 18th and 20th, which caused rises on area rivers sending some of them above flood stage on the 19th. The week's average temperature was 62.1 deg., and rainfall was 1.06 inches. This was 8.2 deg. Cooler than the previous week. Compared with the same week in 2005, the week was 7.7 deg. Warmer, and 1.02 inches wetter.
The week March 19-25 saw temperatures about 13 degrees below normal, and rainfall about 300 percent of normal. A very wet storm system, which moved in on the 18th, brought drenching rains on the 19th. It was followed by two strong cold fronts one on the 20th and another on the 23rd. The season's last freeze occurred on the morning of the 24th, with many stations excluding Tyler seeing a freeze on the 25th, as well. The week's average temperature was 48.9, which was 13.2 degrees colder than the previous week. Rainfall was 2.68 inches. Compared with the same week in 2005, the week was 12.4 degrees colder and 1.93 inches wetter.
The final six days of the month saw a strong warming trend, with temperatures climbing to normal by the 28th and to much above normal by week's end. A crossing disturbance on the 29th brought the week's only rainfall.
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 2006, RECORDS AND SUMMARY: