March Madness Extends Into the Meteorological Realm As Well (3/26/2009)

By: Eric Schminke - Climate Services Focal Point

Mother Nature has her own brand of March Madness and it extends into the Meteorological Realm.

...MARCH MADNESS EXTENDS INTO THE METEOROLOGICAL REALM AS WELL...

WELL...MOTHER NATURE HAS HER OWN BRAND OF MARCH MADNESS...AND IT EXISTS IN THE METEOROLOGICAL REALM.

IN MOST RESPECTS...MARCH 2009 HAS BEEN MAGNIFICANT IN CENTRAL...SOUTH CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST KANSAS. AFTERNOON TEMPERATURES HAVE FREQUENTLY REACHED THE 60S AND 70S AND...ON A COUPLE OCCASIONS...EVEN REACHED THE 80S. PRECIPITATION HAS BEEN SCARCE...WHICH HAS RESULTED IN A VERY HIGH FIRE DANGER ON MANY OCCASIONS...BUT FOR THE MOST PART...KANSANS HAVE WELCOMED THE WARMER WEATHER.

HOWEVER...IF THESE SAME PEOPLE THINK THAT BECAUSE SPRING HAS OFFICIALLY ARRIVED THAT OLD MAN WINTER HAS GONE INTO HIBERNATION...THEY SHOULD THINK AGAIN BECAUSE HE HAS BEEN KNOWN TO GET INTO THE MOOD FOR SOME FUN AND GAMES BEFORE FINALLY SIGNING OFF UNTIL THE FOLLOWING WINTER.

THE FOLLOWING STATISTICS MAKE THIS POINT RATHER CLEAR:

WICHITA: OF THE 10 GREATEST DAILY SNOWFALLS ON RECORD...4 HAVE OCCURRED IN MARCH. ON EACH OCCASION MORE THAN 10 INCHES BURIED THE AIR CAPITAL. TO BE MORE PRECISE...11 TO 12 INCHES FELL ON THE DATE IN QUESTION. THE AMOUNTS AND DATES OF THESE COLOSSAL SNOW EVENTS WERE:

12.0 INCHES; MARCH 9TH, 1909 (TIED FOR 1ST WITH JANUARY 18TH, 1962) 11.8 INCHES; MARCH 16TH, 1970 (RANKED 3RD ALL-TIME) 11.3 INCHES; MARCH 19TH, 1998 (RANKED 5TH ALL-TIME) 11.0 INCHES; MARCH 24TH, 1912 (RANKED 6TH ALL-TIME)

OF THE 20 GREATEST SNOWSTORMS IN WICHITA`S 121-YEAR CLIMATE RECORD...SIX OCCURRED IN MARCH. THE AMOUNTS AND DATES WERE:

13.6 INCHES: MARCH 15TH-16TH, 1970 (15TH: 1.8 INCHES; 16TH: 11.8 INCHES) **THIS IS THE 2ND WORST SNOWSTORM ON RECORD...SURPASSED ONLY BY JANUARY 17TH-18TH, 1962 ON WHICH AN EVEN 15 INCHES OVERWHELMED THE AIR CAPITAL. (OF THIS 15-INCH TOTAL...11.8 INCHES OCCURRED ON THE 16TH AS LISTED ABOVE.)

12.0 INCHES: MARCH 9TH, 1909 **RANKED 5TH ALL-TIME** 11.3 INCHES: MARCH 19TH, 1998 **RANKED 8TH ALL-TIME** 11.3 INCHES: MARCH 22ND-24TH, 1912 (22ND: 0.3; 23RD: 5.5; 24TH: 5.5) **TIED WITH MARCH 19TH, 1998 FOR 8TH ALL-TIME** 8.8 INCHES: MARCH 29TH-31ST, 1926 (29TH: 3.0; 30TH: 5.5; 31ST: 0.3) **RANKED 17TH** 8.1 INCHES: MARCH 12TH-13TH, 1999 (12TH: 5.9; 13TH: 2.2) **RANKED 18TH**

IN FACT...WHEN IT COMES TO "EXCITING WEATHER"...MARCH SEEMS TO BE A MOST PRODUCTIVE MONTH. BESIDES HISTORIC SNOWSTORMS...BLIZZARDS...ICE STORMS HIGH WIND EVENTS CONTAINING SUSTAINED SPEEDS OF 40 TO 50 MPH...SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS AND VIOLENT TORNADOES HAVE ALL OCCURRED DURING THE MONTH OF MARCH. AT THIS TIME...IT APPEARS THAT MARCH 2009 MAY PROVE WHITE AND WILD FROM THIS THURSDAY THRU EARLY SATURDAY. WE SHALL SEE IF THIS EVENT PROVES AS HISTORIC AS THOSE MENTIONED ABOVE.

This story was brought to you by the National Weather Service - Wichita, Kansas.



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