Unusual March Warmth

This month across western Kansas (and much of the country) has been unusually warm.  In fact, based on current projections, the average temperature for March at Dodge City may end up as the 2nd warmest on record! 

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Unfortunately this warmth (along with recent beneficial rain) has caused many plants and trees to break dormancy.  The term unfortunately was used as it appears rather likely that freezing temperatures will still occur this spring.  The average date of a freeze in western Kansas is well into April.  Looking at history, the earliest date that the last 32 degree temperature to occur in Dodge City is March 28 (happened in 1889). 

We certainly hope that this is not a repeat of 1907 (the current 3rd warmest March on record at Dodge City).  In 1907, the average monthly March temperature was 51.7 degrees.  The highest daytime high that month was an astonishing 98 degrees set on March 19.  However, what followed towards the end of the month and subsequently in April and May was below normal temperatures and many mornings with freezing temperatures.  On April 20th of that year the low fell to 20 degrees in Dodge City and a freeze occurred late in May as the low was 30 degrees on May 27th.

The following graph shows the low temperatures for 1907 in Dodge City.  The yellow line represents what is considered to be a normal low for that time of the year and the blue line is the actual minimum temperature observed. 

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