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March 2016 - Report and Summary

by Robert K. Peters, Ph.D. - National Weather Service Cooperating Observer

The month of March 2016 was warmer and much wetter than normal. Two daily rainfall records were set including for the wettest March day since record-keeping began in 1896. In addition, March 2016 replaces March 2015 as the fifth wettest March on record. The thirty-day outlook had called for near normal temperatures and above normal precipitation. It was not changed with the February 29 revision. Compared with March 2015, the month was 5.7 deg. Warmer, and 0.88 inch wetter. Year-to-date rainfall through March 31 was 4.09 inches less in 2016 than in 2015.

March began with a succession of weak cold fronts on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th. The effect was to produce cool overnight temperatures but mild afternoon readings. There were a few light showers with the first two fronts over the eastern counties, but amounts were under one-fourth inch, and areal coverage was under 30 percent.

A very wet storm system crossed between the 8th and 12th. It brought four to ten inches of rain along the IH-20 Corridor, and twelve to twenty inches over the East Texas Lakes Country. Numerous primary and secondary roads were closed because of flooding, and home evacuation was required in Northwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas. Record rainfall occurred in Tyler on the 8th and 9th, with the 9th the wettest March day since records commenced in 1896.

A funnel, which did not touch ground, formed north of Bullard about 5:40 a.m. on the 9th, traveled northeastward, and dissipated east of Tyler about twenty minutes later. The responsible storm system came ashore over Southern California on the 7th, dropped into North Mexico, and stayed there until finally moving into South Texas on the morning of the 11th. It then accelerated, going out of range on the 12th. Temperatures warmed significantly between the 13th and 16th.

A cold front and storm system crossed on the 17th, bringing light showers and lowering temperatures through the 21st. Temperatures warmed between the 22nd and 24th when another storm system and cold front came through, bringing more showers and lowering temperatures back to normal.

A reinforcing front on the 26th kept temperatures down until warming commenced on the 29th ahead of the storm system which ended the month. Rain and thunderstorms were widespread on the afternoon and evening of the 30th with scattered activity on the morning of the 31st. Amounts were highly variable running from a few hundredths of an inch to nearly three inches. There was severe weather on the evening of the 30th.

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.

March 2016

MX MN OBS PCPN REMARKS

March 2016, RECORDS AND SUMMARY:

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