Much Below Normal March Temperatures

 

March 2011 kept the string of cold months going across central and north central South Dakota, as well as west central Minnesota, with much below normal temperatures.  For most locations across the region, March 2011 was one of the top fifteen coldest on record. Average temperatures for the month were from 6 to 10 degrees below normal.  The 21.4 degrees at Sisseton was the third coldest on record. The 20.1 degree monthly average at Wheaton was the fifth coldest on record.  Aberdeen’s monthly average temperature for March was 21.1 degrees which is the seventh coldest on record.  The monthly average temperature for Mobridge was 22.2 degrees, which is the 9th coldest March on record. It was very cold to start the month with low temperatures in the single digits to teens below zero.  A warm up in the middle of the month brought highs into the mid 40s to mid 50s across north central and northeast South Dakota, as well as west central Minnesota.  With the lack of snow cover in central South Dakota, temperatures warmed into the mid 60s to around 70 degrees.

This warm up brought a lot of snow melt and runoff with subsequent flooding, especially across northeast South Dakota and west central Minnesota.  Most rivers, creeks, and lakes rose above flood stage across northeast South Dakota.  With a cool down and decreasing runoff towards the end of the month, most of the creeks and rivers fell back below flood stage. Although, with more snow yet to melt across northeast South Dakota and west central Minnesota, creek and river rises are expected again across the region.

March precipitation and snowfall was not too far off from normal for the month for most locations. The exception was for snowfall at Mobridge and Timber Lake where they received around 13 to 14 inches of snow for the month.  These amounts were about 5 to 6 inches above normal. Also, thunderstorms brought heavy rain to parts of northeast South Dakota on March 22nd where .75 to near 1.25 inches of rainfall occurred.  This only worsened much of the flooding, especially in Hamlin County. 

MARCH 2011

       

Temperature Data

Aberdeen

Sisseton

Wheaton

Watertown

Warmest Temperature / Date

45 / 20 & 31st

50 / 16-17th

49 / 16-17th

43 / 16th

Coldest Temperature / Date

-14 / 2nd

-8 / 2nd

-9 / 2nd

-13 / 2nd

Average High / Departure from Normal

29.5 / -10.7

29.4 / -9.7

29.4 / -10.3

28.9 / -9.3

Average Low / Departure from Normal

12.7 / -8.5

13.5 / -7.8

10.8 / -10.2

14.4 / -4.7

Monthly Average / Departure from Normal

21.1 / -9.6

21.4 / -8.8

20.1 / -10.3

21.6 / -7.1

Precipitation Data

       

Monthly Precipitation / Departure from Normal

1.19 / -0.15

1.57 / +0.04

1.07 / -0.43

1.81 / +0.51

Monthly Snowfall / Departure from Normal

9.7 / +1.7

10.9 / +2.4

9.3 / +1.1

5.4 / -1.1

Most Precipitation in 24 hours / Date

0.41 / 22nd

0.72 / 22nd

0.75 / 23rd

1.24 / 22nd

Most Snow in 24 hours / Date

4.6 / 8th

6.1 / 23rd

4.5 / 23rd

1.7 / 8th

         

Temperature Data

Pierre

Kennebec

Mobridge

Timber Lake

Warmest Temperature / Date

66 / 16th

70 / 16th

51 / 19-20th

55 / 19th

Coldest Temperature / Date

-9 / 2nd

-12 / 5th

-10 / 1st,2nd

-10 / 2nd, 3rd

Average High / Departure from Normal

35.6 / -9.9

38.7 / -9.6

30.5 / -11.2

31.6 / -10.4

Average Low / Departure from Normal

18.6 / -5.2

20.7 / -2.6

14.0 / -6.8

15.7 / -5.4

Monthly Average / Departure from Normal

27.1 / -7.6

29.7 / -6.1

22.2 / -9.1

23.7 / -7.9

Precipitation Data

       

Monthly Precipitation / Departure from Normal

0.81 / -0.38

0.64 / -0.60

1.41 / +0.37

1.69 / +0.49

Monthly Snowfall / Departure from Normal

8.3 / +1.6

7.5 / -0.1

13.1 / +5.4

13.8 / +6.1

Most Precipitation in 24 hours / Date

0.25 / 8th

0.16 / 28th

0.66 / 22nd

0.54 / 28th

Most Snow in 24 hours / Date

2.8 /  8th

2.0 / 28th

5.1 / 8th

6.5 / 28th

 



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