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March 2011 - Report and Summary

The month of March 2011 was the driest March on record, replacing March 1916 for that honor. Only 0.48 inch of rain fell in the city about 12 percent of normal. Otherwise, the month saw near normal temperatures. Compared with March 2010, the month was 6.6 deg. Warmer and 3.89 inches drier. Year- to-date rainfall through month's end was 3.18 inches less in 2011 than in 2010.

With LaNina continuing to dominate equatorial Pacific waters, March 2011 was a typical example for such a situation. The thirty-day outlook had called for above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation. A progressive weather pattern was in place during the first half of the month, with storm systems followed by weak cold fronts crossing on the 5th, 8th, and 14th. These brought thunderstorms, with a few severe on each occasion northeast of Tyler. Rainfall amounts were light.

The month began under cool high pressure, warmed until the arrival of the system of the 5th, and cooled again behind that system and the ones of the 8th and 14th. Warm-ups preceded the latter two fronts, as well.

On the 16th, an upper air high pressure ridge established itself. At the same time, surface high pressure to the east and low pressure to the west resulted in warm temperatures, no rainfall, and gusty south winds. This pattern persisted until a strong cold front arrived on the evening of the 26th, which lowered temperatures through the end of the month.

A secondary system on the evening of the 29th brought thunderstorms to the south and east of Tyler, with only light rain in Tyler.

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 2011



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