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March 2017 - Report and Summary

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

The thirty-day outlook for March 2017, issued on February 16, called for above normal temperatures and near normal precipitation. The February 28 revision made no changes for East Texas. Compared with March 2016, the month was 1.5 deg. Warmer and 8.02 inches drier. Year-to-date precipitation was 0.12 inch less in 2017 than in 2016.

March 2017, with an average temperature of 64.5, replaces March 1938 as the fifth warmest March on record. The average temperature was 64.3 F. In that year. March 1907, with an average temperature of 67.8, remains the warmest March on record.

A cold front moved through the region on the morning of the 1st, lowering temperatures to near to slightly below normal levels through the 5th. Tropical air returned that afternoon, with above normal temperatures until another front arrived on the morning of the 7th. Another brief cool-down was followed by warming on the 9th and 10th to above normal levels. An upper air low crossed between the 4th and 6th, with light showers, and additional showers accompanying the front of the 7th. Rainfall amounts were around one-half inch, though approaching one inch over the southern and northeastern counties.

Yet another and stronger cold front arrived on the morning of the 11th. A diffuse surface low along the Texas Coast combined with a series of disturbances to bring showers to the region between the 10th and 12th. A mounts were under one-half inch. The warm-up of the 9th was short-lived. The front of the 11th lowered temperatures to near to slightly below normal levels through the 16th.

Gulf air returned on the evening of the 16th, and combined with upper air high pressure to send temperatures back above normal through the 24th. A weak cold front lowered temperatures on the 25th, with readings going back above normal until another front on the 29th again lowered temperatures.

Storm systems on the 24th, 27th, and 29th brought showers and a few thunderstorms to the region. The first system brought between one and two inches of rain, the second only scattered light measurements, and the last rains of between one-fourth inch and one inch. There were a few severe thunderstorms with the system of the 29th. The brief cool-down was followed by another warm-up on the 31st.

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 2017



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