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By Bob Valen 

Weather changeover for March

Weather Watcher


Generally we see a nice change in weather conditions as we watch March progress. Still, I would recommend being ready for winter-like conditions. In 1951 we had 9.8 inches of snow. Mean precipitation for March is 0.82 inches. In 1983, we recorded 2.64 inches of precipitation. It can be a wet month.

Temperatures can be all over the face of the thermometer. In 1939 we had a high of 74 degrees and in 1955 a low of zero degrees. The mean temperature for March is 41.1 degrees — it bodes well for a spring warm up.

February exited with a reminder that winter is still in the neighborhood. We had 1.5 inches of snowfall here at the home weather station. Total precipitation for the month was 0.91inches, just about on the mark of mean precipitation for February at 0.92 inches. The home weather station recorded a month low of 18.2 degrees and a high temperature of 49.3 degrees.

For the winter of 2011-12 we’ve had 13.1 inches of snow. Not real impressive, given we were in a La Niña year (La Niña, according to NOAA, is waning). Of course, and as I mentioned in previous columns, there were other conditions that played a significant hand in our winter weather this season.

The state climatologist is showing very similar temperature and precipitation forecasts for the three month period (March, April and May) that we experienced last year during that time period. Wonder how the vegetable and flower gardens will do this year?

Looking at historic weather events that occurred during the month of March here in the Pacific Northwest, one sees a lot of mention of March storms with high winds on the Oregon and Washington coasts. I mentioned this event last year, the March 1st Stevens Pass Avalanche that still stands as the deadliest in United States history that killed 96 people.

You may want to turn your eyes skyward this month. March 2012 is being taunted as the best ever for viewing planets for our solar system. Four planets will pop into view starting at dusk. Up early are Mars, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter for our viewing pleasure. Next up a bit later in the evening sky is Saturn. Mars will be found in the eastern sky while the other planets are in the western sky.

Some of you have visited the weblog, or blog, that I keep of my weather station data as part of the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS). I’ll be making some minor changes soon. The weather data chart will remain; however, I’ll be providing a link to this column as it appears in The Star newspaper. No more separate written narratives. So, drop by the weather blog at: thanks for visiting.

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