March 2012 Climatic Summary
 
March temperatures were the warmest on record across much of the area this month. The average monthly temperature was over 12 degrees above normal across the region. Many locations broke their old March records by several degrees. The previous warmest March for locations with long climate records was just over a hundred years ago in 1910.
 
Along with the extremely warm temperatures, precipitation in March averaged around 24 percent of normal across the entire area.  Only the Winner area was near average for precipitation. Precipitation across the entire area averaged only 0.25 inches. To be expected, snowfall was even more scant, with most locations having no report or only a trace of snow. Snowfall was only 4 percent of average across the region. A few locations received some light snow in early March. Lead and Sundance reported 2.7 inches of snow, while Lemmon and Faith reported 2.0 and 1.0 inches of snow respectively.
 
March storm summary...
 
March 18th – A strong cold front brought very windy conditions to southern portions of South Dakota, along with a few severe thunderstorms. Winds gusted to 60 mph behind the cold front as it crossed the state. Severe storms moved through south central South Dakota, producing large hail in Todd County.
 
March 26th and 27th – A strong low pressure system moved out of the central Rockies and into the northern plains. This storm system produced 55 to 80 mph wind gusts across much of northeast Wyoming and western South Dakota.
 
March record summary...

It was the warmest March on record for the following locations:

Station            Average         Previous
                   Temperature     Record
....................................................
Bison              47.5            42.7 in 2007
Camp Crook         46.0            42.8 in 1986
Dupree             47.7            42.6 in 1946
Ft. Meade          49.0            44.9 in 1986
Gillette 4SE       46.2            42.7 in 1986
Hot Springs        48.9            48.3 in 1910
Interior 3NE       53.2            49.4 in 2007
Lemmon             47.0            40.3 in 2007
Maurine 10SW/Opal  45.3            41.1 in 2007
Milesville 5NE     49.2            44.4 in 2007
Mission 14S        46.9            42.7 in 2007
Mt. Rushmore       46.7            42.0 in 1986
Newcastle          46.7            42.8 in 2007
Newell             45.7            43.0 in 2007
Oelrichs           47.1            45.4 in 2007
Pactola Dam        40.7            37.5 in 2007
Rapid City WFO     49.5            48.9 in 1910
Rapid City AP      47.6            44.3 in 2007
Sundance           44.9            43.1 in 2007
Winner             50.5            45.2 in 1986
It was the 2nd warmest March on Record for Lead with an average temperature of 44.8 and Spearfish with an average temperature of 50.1 degrees.

 

Locations where March 2012 was one of the driest on record:

Station            March           Ranking for
                   Precipitation   Driest March
....................................................
Camp Crook         0.01 inches     3rd driest
Ft. Meade          0.28 inches     3rd driest
Gillette           0.01 inches     2nd driest
Hot Springs        0.23 inches     7th driest
Interior           0.09 inches     6th driest
Lead               0.39 inches     2nd driest
Maurine 10SW/Opal  0.22 inches     5th driest
Milesville 5NE     0.08 inches     2nd driest
Mt. Rushmore       0.18 inches     2nd driest (tied)
Newell             0.19 inches     6th driest
Oelrichs           0.14 inches     7th driest
Pactola Dam        0.14 inches     2nd driest
Rapid City WFO     0.09 inches     driest (tied)
Rapid City AP      0.05 inches     driest
Spearfish          0.18 inches     3rd driest
Sundance           0.47 inches     8th driest
Locations where March 2012 ranked for the least amount of snowfall:
Station            March         Ranking for Least 
                   Snowfall      Amount of Snow in March
.............................................................
Bison              0.1 inches    8th for least snowfall (tied)
Dupree             Trace         2nd for least snowfall (tied)
Ft. Meade          0             1st for least snowfall
Gillette           Trace         1st for least snowfall (tied)
Hot Springs        0             1st for least snowfall (tied)
Interior           0             1st for least snowfall (tied)
Lead               2.7 inches    5th for least snowfall
Maurine 10SW/Opal  Trace         1st for least snowfall (tied)
Milesville 5NE     Trace         1st for least snowfall (tied)
Mission 14 S       0             1st for least snowfall (tied)
Mt. Rushmore       Trace         1st for least snowfall (tied)
Newcastle          Trace         3rd for least snowfall (tied)
Newell             0             1st for least snowfall (tied)
Oelrichs           0             1st for least snowfall
Pactola Dam        0.2 inches    2nd for least snowfall
Rapid City WFO     Trace         1st for least snowfall (tied)
Rapid City AP      0.1 inches    3rd for least snowfall
Spearfish          0             1st for least snowfall
Sundance           2.7 inches    7th for least snowfall

 

LOCAL EXTREMES
Rapid City
Lead
Gillette
Temperature
Temperature
Date
Temperature
Date
Temperature
Date
Max. Temp.
83
31st
73
31st
80
31st
Min. Temp.
13
2nd
15
7th
14
1st
Precipitation
Rapid City
Lead
Gillette
Monthly Data
Amount
Date
Amount
Date
Amount
Date
Precipitation
0.05
 
0.39
 
0.01
 
Snowfall
0.1
 
2.7
 
T
 
Daily Data
Amount
Date
Amount
Date
Amount
Date
Max. Precipitation
0.04
4th
0.21
27th
0.01
27th
Max. Snowfall
0.1
4th
1.3
3rd
T
2nd, 3rd, 19th

 

Return to Climate Summaries


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