March of 2014 in the La Crosse HSA saw below to much below normal temperatures and precipitation, with below to above normal snowfall.
Periods of warmer temperatures around the 13th and 14th and the 18th to the 22nd produced melting snow which resulted in moderate to strong within bank rises on many of the streams and rivers of the HSA during the 2nd and 3rd weeks of the month. Localized ice jamming produced some minor flooding in far southwest Wisconsin on the 15th. Some locally heavier rains on the 27th combined with the snowmelt runoff produced bank-full conditions and minor flooding along portions of the Kickapoo River in southwest Wisconsin on the 28th and 29th.
March 2014 precipitation was much below normal across the northwest third of the HSA and below normal elsewhere. A pair of weak lows brought light to moderate snowfall to much of the HSA from the 3rd to the 5th. Another low brought some light rain to mainly the central and south parts of the HSA on the 11th. A passing low brought light rain or snow to much of the HSA on the 18th and 19th. A cold front and upper level disturbance produced light snow across much of the HSA on the on the 24th into the 25th. A stronger low combined with increased moisture from the Gulf of Mexico produced moderate to locally heavy rains across mainly the southeast half of the HSA on the 27th.
Normal March precipitation ranges from around 1.75 inches across the north end of the HSA, to near 2.25 inches across the far south end. Totals for March 2014 ranged 40 to 50 percent of normal across the northwest and north ends of the HSA to 50 to 75 percent of normal across the central and south portions of the HSA. Most precipitation totals during March were 40 to 60 percent of normal. Extreme totals recorded for the month ranged from 0.54 inch at Mondovi in Buffalo Co. WI and 0.56 inch at Lake City in Wabasha Co. MN, to 2.05 inches at McGregor in Clayton Co. IA and 2.19 inches at New Hampton in Chickasaw Co. IA.
March snowfall was generally below normal across the northeast half of the HSA to above normal across the southwest half. Monthly totals were mostly 4 to 8 inches across the northeast half to 6 to 10 inches across the southwest half. Normal March snowfall ranges from 4 to 6 inches across the south end to around 10 inches across the north end. Snow totals for this month were mostly 60 to 110 percent of normal.
March 2014 temperatures averaged 22 to 28 degrees. This was 6 to 8 degrees below the normals, making it one of the 20 to 25 coldest Marches of record. Temperatures were below and much below normal from the 1st to the 9th, but for one near normal day on the 7th. Temperatures cycled above to below normal every 2 to 3 days from the 10th to the 21st. Readings were again below and much below normal from the 22nd to the 29th, with one near normal day on the 27th. The month ended with above normal temperatures on the 30th and 31st. Extremes for the month ranged from lows of -10 to -30 on the morning of the 3rd, to highs in the 50s and 60s on the 31st. The 2nd and 3rd of the month were a couple of the coldest March days ever recorded.
Flows in the rivers and streams of the HSA were near normal during March. Abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions remained across much of the WI portion of the HSA at the end of the month. Due to the below normal temperatures most of the month, snow depths, ground frost depths, and ice cover on the rivers, streams and lakes of the HSA were mostly above, deeper and thicker than normal at the end of the month.