The Late-March 2013 Cold Snap Was Far From Being The Coldest On Record

In sharp contrast to the anomalous warmth of March 2012, a late-month cold snap settled into South Central Nebraska and North Central Nebraska during March 2013, with the peak of below normal temperatures focused during the week of March 20th-26th.

Listed below is a ranking of the top 12 coldest non-overlapping weeks on record between March 20th-31st at Central Nebraska Regional Airport in Grand Island, where temperature data date back 117 years to 1896.  These rankings are based on average daily mean temperature, which is an average of both the daily highs and lows.  The stipulation of non-overlapping weeks eliminates multiple 7-day stretches from the same year.

As the rankings indicate, the worst of this year's late March cold snap only tied for the 12th coldest late March week on record, not even breaking into the top 10.  By far and away the coldest late March on record occurred in 1965.  Furthermore, one only has to look back 7 years to 2006 to find a colder week in late March.

One possible reason that the past several days seemed so cold is that they contrasted so sharply with last year, when March 2012 ended as the warmest March on record in Grand Island.  The 7-day period from March 20th-26th, 2012, featured an average daily temperature of 57.8 degrees, a whopping 29.9 degrees higher than those same 7 days this year.


Central Nebraska Regional Airport
at Grand Island
13.3 degrees March 20-26, 1965
18.0 degrees March 20-26, 1955
24.3 degrees March 20-26, 2006
25.3 degrees March 20-26, 1964
25.9 degrees March 25-31, 1899
26.1 degrees March 21-27, 1913
26.3 degrees March 20-26, 1915
26.7 degrees March 25-31, 1926
26.8 degrees March 21-27, 1952
27.0 degrees March 24-30, 1944
27.3 degrees March 20-26, 1912
27.9 degrees March 20-26, 2013
March 23-29, 1975
March 24-30, 1937

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