March 2004 - Review of Weather, Temperatures, and Precipitation for the Quad State Region.

Weather Summary for March 2004

March saw a transition toward a progressive, more spring-like pattern. Average temperatures for the month were 3-6 degrees above normal (49 to 52 degrees). While many days recorded precipitation during March, most sites were 1 to 2 inches below normal. In fact, two dry months now have removed the region from the wetter-than-normal category on the Palmer Drought Severity Index.

March started off on the wet side as a cold front passed across the Mississippi Valley. Rain totals varied considerably, ranging from one-quarter inch in southwest Indiana to over one inch in Paducah. A weak cold front passed over the region on the 3rd, stalled across the Gulf Coast States, moved back north as a warm front on the 4th, then passed through as a cold front again on the 5th. Showers and thunderstorms brought significant rain amounts. A Flood Watch was issued for the northern half of the HSA. Total rain amounts ranged from 1 to 1 inches during this period.

Between the 6th and 24th, the upper level pattern remained fairly zonal with many swift, yet weak storm systems. A handful of surface cold fronts passed across the region spawning scattered showers and a few isolated thunderstorms. Several of these storms brought brief but very heavy rainfall. On the 20th, flash flooding was reported in Calloway County of west Kentucky and Warrick County in southwest Indiana. Over one inch of rain fell in isolated areas but most locations averaged less than one-quarter of an inch for each storm system.

Toward the end of the month, strong southwest flow returned to the region boosting temperatures well into the 70s. Some locations even hit the 80 degree mark on the 28th for the first time this year. A strong, yet moisture-starved, cold front approached the HSA on the 27th initiating scattered showers both ahead of and behind the front. Total rain amounts between the 28th and 31st were meager, averaging less than one-half inch.

 

Figure 1. March Average Daily Temperature Summaries (Degrees F) for Several Quad State Region Locations.

Location

Temperatures (F) >

High

Low

Average

Carbondale, IL

Normal (30 years) > 

2004 only >

     55.7

61.7

34.1

40.7

44.9

51.2

Cape Girardeau, MO

Normal (30 years) >

2004 only >

57.6

61.3

37.5

39.3

47.6

50.5

Evansville, IN

Normal (30 years) >

2004 only >

56.4

59.7

35.2

38.8

45.8

49.2

Paducah, KY

Normal (30 years) >

2004 only >

58.1

62.1

37.1

42.0

47.6

52.0

Poplar Bluff, MO

Normal (30 years) >

2004 only >

59.2

62.4

36.5

41.2

47.9

51.8

 

Figure 2. March Average Monthly Precipitation (inches) and March 2004 Observed Precipitation for Several Quad State Region Locations

Location

 

Total Precipitation

(includes melted snow)

2004 difference

from normal

Carbondale, IL

Normal:

2004:

4.32

4.92

 

+0.60

Cape Girardeau, MO

Normal:

2004:

4.57

3.48

 

-1.09

Evansville, IN

Normal:

2004:

4.29

2.17

 

-2.12

Paducah, KY

Normal:

2004:

4.27

3.56

 

-0.71

Poplar Bluff, MO

Normal:

2004:

4.71

3.51

 

-1.20

 


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