by Robert K. Peters, Ph.D. - National Weather Service Cooperating Observer
The Month of March 2015 was slightly cooler and much wetter than normal. In fact, it was the fifth wettest March since record-keeping began in Tyler in 1896. Compared with March 2014, the month was 2.0 deg. Warmer, and 4.61 inches wetter. Year-to-date rainfall through month's end was 10.33 inches greater in 2015 than in 2014. The thirty-day outlook had called for near normal temperatures and near normal precipitation. When revised on February 28, it called for below normal temperatures and near normal precipitation.
March began cold and wet. A storm system crossing between the 2nd and 5th brought precipitation. It began as rain, and turned to sleet and snow on the morning of the 5th behind an Arctic cold front. Between three and six inches of snow fell along and about 50 miles either side of the IH-30 Corridor on that morning, resulting in school and business closings. Near-record low temperatures occurred on the morning of the 6th. Tyler received its third measurable snowfall in eleven days: February 23 and 25, and March 5.
A slow warm-up began on the 7th, with temperatures finally returning to normal on the 12th. A wet storm system crossed on the 8th and 9th, bringing between one and three inches of rainfall from the IH20 Corridor northward, and between two and five inches from IH-20 southward. The heaviest rains in Tyler fell on the afternoon and into the evening of the 9th with more than two inches recorded.
Later in the week, another storm system crossed in two installments on the 12th and 13th from south to north to the east of this region. This system also brought widespread rain, with amounts of 1.5 inches or greater east of a Lufkin-Marshall-Gilmer line. West of that line, amounts were under three/fourths of an inch.
Temperatures warmed between the 14th and 17th under weak upper air high pressure. Warm air flowing over the chilled moist soils brought dense fog on the mornings of the 15th and 16th. On the afternoon of the 17th, Tyler recorded its first 80-degree high temperature of 2015 the first time the temperature had reached 80 since October 27, 2014. The 17th also saw the first cooling degree days.
A pair of storm systems crossed beginning on the 18th. On that date, between one-half inch and one inch of rain fell in the region, with the season's first thunderstorm. The second part of the system crossed from the afternoon of the 20th through the early-morning of the 22nd, dropping another inch or more of rain. Measurable rain fell in Tyler on each of the five days between the 18th and 22nd.
Temperatures warmed above normal between the 23rd and 25th under weak upper air high pressure and southerly flow ahead of another storm system. That system brought scattered showers mainly along Red River on the morning of the 26th, and lowered temperatures through the morning of the 28th when another warming trend set up. Warmer temperatures continued through the end of the month.
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.
MX MN OBS PCPN REMARKS
March 2015, RECORDS AND SUMMARY: