A Statistical Preview of March Weather in Denver

      ...A STATISTICAL PREVIEW OF DENVER`S MARCH WEATHER...

 

MARCH IN DENVER IS TYPICALLY A TRANSITION MONTH WHERE THE DRY WINTER

SEASON ENDS AND THE MOIST SEASON BEGINS. THE PHRASE, "IF YOU DON'T

LIKE THE WEATHER, JUST WAIT 5 MINUTES", CAN OFTEN BE USED IN DENVER

DURING THE SPRING MONTHS WITH MARCH INCLUDED. MARCH OFTEN PROVIDES A

WIDE VARIATION OF WEATHER AND TEMPERATURE RANGES. OUTDOOR ENTHUSIASTS

CAN ENJOY DEEP POWDER AT HIGHER ELEVATIONS WEST OF THE URBAN

CORRIDOR AND RETURN BACK TO SPRINGLIKE TEMPERATURES IN THE 70S.

AN EXAMPLE OF VARIABLE AND FAST CHANGING WEATHER IN THE DENVER AREA

IS WHEN CANADIAN COLD FRONTS OCCASIONALLY CLASH WITH RELATIVELY WARM

AND MOIST GULF MOISTURE TO PRODUCE SEVERE WEATHER AHEAD OF

SIGNIFICANT SNOW STORMS. THE MONTHLY NORMAL SNOWFALL CAN BE

FREQUENTLY REACHED IN A SINGLE STORM SYSTEM LASTING 1 TO 3 DAYS. IN

ADDITION, WHETHER THE PRECIPITATION IS RAIN OR SNOW, MARCH'S NORMAL

PRECIPITATION NEARLY TRIPLES THAT OF FEBRUARY'S NORMALS.

 

DENVER'S MONTHLY MEAN TEMPERATURE FOR MARCH IS 40.4 DEGREES

(1981-2010 AVERAGES) AND IS DENVER'S 5TH COLDEST MONTH OF THE YEAR

BEHIND DECEMBER, JANUARY, FEBRUARY AND NOVEMBER RESPECTIVELY. MARCH

STARTS THE MONTH WITH A NORMAL HIGH OF 50 DEGREES AND ENDS WITH A

NORMAL HIGH OF 58 DEGREES. FOR LOW TEMPERATURES, THE MONTH BEGINS

WITH A NORMAL OF 22 DEGREES AND FINISHES WITH A NORMAL OF 30.

 

THE WARMEST TEMPERATURE EVER RECORDED DURING THE MONTH OF MARCH,

SINCE RECORDS BEGAN IN 1872, WAS 84 DEGREES ON THE 26TH DAY OF 1971.

MARCH'S COLDEST TEMPERATURE EVER RECORDED IN DENVER WAS -11 DEGREES

AND OCCURRED ON THE 28TH DAY OF 1886.

 

MARCH: DENVER'S TOP 5 COLDEST MONTHS(MEAN TEMPERATURES):

 

26.4 DEGREES 1912

28.0         1924

29.0         1965

29.8         1906

32.2         1891 AND 1969

 

MARCH: DENVER'S TOP 5 WARMEST MONTHS(MEAN TEMPERATURES):

 

50.4 DEGREES 1910

47.2         1907

47.1         1986

47.0         1918

46.5         1879

 

FOR DENVER'S NINE MONTH SNOW PERIOD OF SEPTEMBER THROUGH MAY, MARCH

RANKS AS THE SNOWIEST MONTH AND TYPICALLY ACCOUNTS FOR 20 PERCENT OF

THE ANNUAL SNOWFALL. DENVER NORMALLY COLLECTS 10.7 INCHES OF SNOW IN

MARCH BASED ON AVERAGES FROM OLD STAPLETON INTL AIRPORT (1981-2010

AVERAGES), HOWEVER MARCH IS KNOWN FOR THE BIGGEST SNOWFALL EVENTS TO

HIT THE REGION. IN RECENT HISTORY FOR EXAMPLE, MARCH 1992 AND 2003

COME TO MIND FOR MOST. MARCH 8TH, 1992 BROUGHT TORNADO WARNINGS TO THE

NORTHEASTERN COLORADO PLAINS AS A FAST PACED COLD FRONT ROLLED ACROSS

EASTERN COLORADO. THIS AIRMASS COLLISION RESULTED IN A MAJOR BLIZZARD

ALONG THE ENTIRE FRONT RANGE DURING THE EVENING AND INTO THE NEXT DAY, AS SURFACE LOW PRESSURE INTENSIFIED OVER SOUTHEASTERN COLORADO. 

FROM MARCH 17-19, 2003, THE 2ND BIGGEST SNOWFALL IN DENVER WEATHER  

HISTORY OCCURRED AS A MASSIVE TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE TAPPED INTO GULF

MOISTURE. THE AREA OF PRECIPITATION ASSOCIATED WITH THE MULTI DAY

SNOW STORM EXTENDED IN A 150-300 MILE WIDE BAND FROM THE CONTINENTAL

DIVIDE WEST OF DENVER, SOUTHEASTWARD 1200 MILES INTO LOUISIANA.

 

MARCH: DENVER'S SNOWIEST

 

35.2 INCHES 2003

32.5        1944

31.3        1891

30.5        1983

29.2        1961

 

ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF BIG AND EVENTFUL SNOWSTORMS COUPLED WITH THE

ONSET OF THE UNSTABLE CONVECTIVE SEASON, THE END OF THE WINTER CAN

OCCASIONALLY EXPERIENCE EXTENDED DROUGHT-LIKE CONDITIONS OVER THE

HIGH PLAINS REGION. THESE DRY PERIODS ARE OFTEN ASSOCIATED WITH LA

NINA PHASES OF THE PACIFIC OCEANIC REGION. THE DRIEST MARCHS'

USUALLY END THE MONTH WITH ABOVE NORMAL MONTHLY TEMPERATURES MAINLY

DUE TO WINDY, CLOUD FREE, DOWNSLOPE WINDY DAYS COMBINED WITH WARMER

NIGHT-TIME LOW TEMPERATURES FROM LACK OF LONG LASTING SNOW COVER.

 

MARCH: DENVER'S LEAST SNOWIEST

 

 0.3 INCHES 1883

 0.4        1911

 0.5        1885

 1.1        1887

 1.8        2004

 

                    ...THE OUTLOOK FOR MARCH 2012...

 

AFTER A MONTH WHICH BROUGHT THE DENVER AREA ITS 2ND SNOWIEST FEBRUARY

IN 139 YEARS, THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER LONG RANGE FORECAST

CALLS FOR SOME MODERATION TO THE EXTREMES. DESPITE A BRIEF UNSETTLED

FIRST FEW DAYS OF MARCH 2012, A NORMAL PROGRESSION OF THE

RIDGE-TROUGH PATTERN WITH A BIAS TO ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND

BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION IS EXPECTED. WITH THE CURRENT WEAKENING

LA NINA CONDITIONS OVER THE PACIFIC REGION, A CONTINUED PATTERN OF

PERIODIC WINDY CONDITIONS CAN BE EXPECTED EAST OF THE CONTINENTAL

DIVIDE.

 

                       ...MARCH STATISTICS...

 

...TEMPERATURES (1981-2010 NORMALS)...

 

AVERAGE HIGH........................... 54.4

AVERAGE LOW............................ 26.4

MONTHLY MEAN........................... 40.4

DAYS WITH HIGH 90 OR ABOVE.............   0

DAYS WITH HIGH 32 OR BELOW.............   2 (1.9)

DAYS WITH LOW 32 OR BELOW..............  24 (23.6)

DAYS WITH LOWS ZERO OR BELOW...........   0 (0.1)

 

...PRECIPITATION...

 

MONTHLY MEAN...........................   0.92 INCH

DAYS WITH MEASURABLE PRECIPITATION.....   6 (5.9)

AVERAGE SNOWFALL........................ 10.7 INCHES (SNOWIEST

                                                       MONTH)

 

...MISCELLANEOUS MARCH AVERAGES...

 

HEATING DEGREE DAYS.................... 763

COOLING DEGREE DAYS....................    0

WIND SPEED (MPH).......................    9.7*

WIND DIRECTION......................... SOUTH*

DAYS WITH THUNDERSTORMS................    0* (0.3)

DAYS WITH DENSE FOG....................    1* (1.1)

PERCENT OF SUNSHINE....................   69*

(NOTE: SUNSHINE DATA ARE NO LONGER REPORTED AS OF OCTOBER 1, 2009)

 

* = 1971-2002 NORMALS

 

...MARCH EXTREMES...

 

RECORD HIGH............................ 84 DEGREES ON 3/26/1971

RECORD LOW............................. -11 DEGREES ON 3/28/1886

WARMEST................................ 50.4 DEGREES IN 1910

MAXIMUM/MINIMUM COOLING DEGREES DAYS... NONE EVER RECORDED

COLDEST................................ 26.4 DEGREES IN 1912

MAXIMUM HEATING DEGREE DAYS............ 1198 IN 1912

MINIMUM HEATING DEGREE DAYS............   452 IN 1910

WETTEST................................   4.56 INCHES IN 1983

DRIEST.................................   0.11 INCHES IN 1908

 

KF/KB



Return to News Archive

USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.