March, out like a lion or a lamb?

March is typically a transition month across western and north central Nebraska as winter comes to a close and spring begins.  Wintry weather including heavy snow and blizzard conditions can be followed with severe weather including tornadoes, large hail and damaging winds.  Large variations in temperatures can occur.  All time March record lows and highs for North Platte range from 22 degrees below zero to 88 degrees.  For Valentine the all time March record low is 29 degrees below zero, with an all time record high of 87 degrees.

Heavy snow and blizzards have occurred during the month and March is typically one of the snowiest month of the year.  Over the past 130 years North Platte has had 5 record occurrences of daily snowfall exceeding 10 inches with the heaviest of 12.6 inches in 1894.  Over the past 120 years, Valentine has had 7 record occurrences of daily snowfall exceeding 10 inches.  The heaviest was a whopping 17.1 inches in 1977.

Across western and north central Nebraska, severe weather episodes generally occur once every other year during March.  Back in 2007, a major severe weather and tornado outbreak occurred on the 28th of March.  A total of 7 tornadoes were observed that evening, including an F2 tornado near Grant.  In 2009 the 23rd of March saw the National Weather Service North Platte Weather Forecast Office have a Blizzard Warning and a Tornado Warning in effect at the same time across Cherry County in Northern Nebraska.

Below is a table of highs, lows, precipitation and snowfall for the 1st and 31st of March since 2000 at North Platte and Valentine. Is March 2014 going to end like a lion or a lamb?

 

North Platte
  March 1 March 31
Year High Low Precip Snow High Low Precip Snow
2000 60 20 0.00 0.0 50 36 0.01 0.0
2001 49 21 T T 49 23 0.01 T
2002 25 2 0.44 7.4 55 32 0.13 1.3
2003 44 16 0.00 0.0 76 30 0.00 0.0
2004 33 21 T 0.0 67 19 0.00 0.0
2005 52 7 0.00 0.0 56 27 0.00 0.0
2006 65 33 0.00 0.0 64 37 0.00 0.0
2007 44 24 0.00 0.0 56 38 0.00 0.0
2008 77 24 0.00 0.0 40 22 0.20 0.6
2009 34 7 0.00 0.0 41 17 T 0.1
2010 33 26 0.09 0.9 69 35 0.00 0.0
2011 64 16 0.00 0.0 61 37 0.07 0.0
2012 52 19 0.00 0.0 86 35 0.00 0.0
2013 43 22 0.03 0.5 71 28 0.00 0.0
2014 14 -2 T T ? ? ? ?
Normal 47 19 0.02 0.2 57 28 0.05 0.1

*Highlighted values are records for that date*

Valentine
  March 1 March 31
Year High Low Precip Snow High Low Precip Snow
2000 53 19 0.00 0.0 54 29 0.00 0.0
2001 42 14 0.00 0.0 46 22 0.00 0.0
2002 11 -2 0.15 2.6 51 28 0.00 0.0
2003 40 9 T T 78 36 0.00 0.0
2004 32 23 T T 70 25 0.00 0.0
2005 51 7 0.00 0.0 53 25 0.00 0.0
2006 59 29 0.00 0.0 58 33 T 0.0
2007 33 22 0.00 0.0 39 35 0.07 0.0
2008 72 30 0.00 0.0 32 26 0.34 4.0
2009 22 -14 T T 30 13 0.05 0.2
2010 37 26 0.02 0.3 64 39 0.00 0.0
2011 46 4 T T 57 35 T 0.0
2012 41 10 0.00 0.0 82 46 0.00 0.0
2013 42 19 0.01 0.3 57 29 0.00 0.0
2014 9 -10 0.31 3.5 ? ? ? ?
Normal 44 18 0.02 0.2 54 28 0.05 0.2

 

Records for March 1 and March 31 for North Platte and Valentine
Date High Low Low Max High Min Precip Snow
North Platte
March 1 77/2008 -11/1980 13/1980,1888 38/1921 0.44/2002 7.4/2002
March 31 88/1946 3/1899 20/1936 49/1905 0.75/1884 2.0/1890
Valentine
March 1 74/1992 -29/1980 9/1960 39/1901 0.38/1953,1891 3.8/1891
March 31 87/1946 -3/1899 14/1936 48/1946 1.07/1897 6.6/1896

 

  Page composition by
Matt Masek & Chris Buttler
Updated 2014
 


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