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Mitch's Blog


Saturday, April 03, 2004

Now that a brand new month has started, it’s time once again for me to do a summary of the weather events for the previous month of March. I will be uploading the latest chart for March shortly, which will show the high and low temperatures for the month compared to the average high and low temperatures. Scroll down and look to the right to find that.

Overall, March was much warmer than usual, turning out to be a little more than 5 degrees warmer than it should have been. There were only 5 days during the entire month that had a cooler than average mean temperature for the date. In February, The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center said that March in Minnesota would have an equal chance of being cooler than average, average, or warmer than average, so they weren’t necessarily correct or wrong in their predications for the temperature difference in March. As far as April goes, the National Weather Service is once again predicting equal chances of below normal, normal, or above normal temperatures, so it’s anybody’s guess as to how the month will turn out with regard to temperature.

The warmest maximum temperature recorded during March in Brainerd occurred on the 24th, when the temperature reached a very balmy 64°F. This temperature was even more remarkable for the fact that there was still quite a bit of snow on the ground – in the morning, anyway, before the temperature got into the 60s. The high temperature of 64° was 23°F above normal for the date. The coldest maximum temperature recorded in March was 23°F on March 11th. This high temperature was 12°F below average for the date. The coldest minimum temperature reached in March was a rather warm – relatively speaking – -1°F, which was recorded on March 12th. Although this temperature was 12°F below the average low for the date, the coldest temperature during March in Brainerd is usually quite a bit colder than this. Finally, the warmest minimum temperature for the month occurred on the 28th, when the overnight low was 36°F, or 16°F warmer than it should have been for the date.

As mentioned before, the temperature of 64°F on March 24th was definitely unseasonably warm. In fact, it was warm enough to break the high temperature record for that date, which had stood at 62°F since 1992. This was the only record broken during the month of March, and, actually, if the temperature of 64° would have happened on any other date around the 24th, it probably wouldn’t have broken any records.

The 64 degree temperature was also the warmest temperature that had been recorded in Brainerd since October 22, 2003, when the temperature was 69°F. That’s a span of 153 days since a temperature above 60 degrees had been recorded.

As far as precipitation for the month goes, there was both some snow and some ordinary rain. The rain that fell on March 25th was the first rainfall seen in the Brainerd area since October 11, 2003. Everything that had fallen on the ground in Brainerd since that date had been snow. March 25th’s rainstorm was also interesting, in that it featured an exceptionally early severe thunderstorm. The atmosphere had become very unsettled from the 64°F temperature the previous day, so conditions were very favorable to create thunderstorms on the 25th, and that’s exactly what happened. The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning at about 11:30AM on the 25th, and about 30 minutes later – when the thunderstorm rolled through Brainerd – it featured everything commonly found in an early summer thunderstorm: extremely dark skies, thunder, lightning, and hail. In addition, because of all the melting of snow that had occurred the day before, the entire day was full of very thick fog, and when the thunderstorm came through, the visibility was lowered to 0.00 miles. I don’t think I had ever seen it so foggy before, not to mention so dark at noon. Also, I can’t recall an earlier date that a severe thunderstorm warning had been issued. March 25th was definitely a very interesting day in weather.

Meanwhile, back to the precipitation for the month of March, 0.88 inches fell during the entire month. 0.54 inches of this fell in the form of rain, and the rest was snow, which came out to be 5.2 inches. In all, the month was dryer that usual, with only 60% of the average amount of precipitation falling.

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Mitch's Blog began on December 23, 2001