<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> March 2004 Saint Cloud Weather Summary
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This Month's Daily Statistics

Saint Cloud Weather Summary for March 2004

Frost and Snow Gone; Will Rainfall be Coming?

     Spring hit early in Saint Cloud this past March. According to the temperature statistics from the Saint Cloud Regional Airport, the average March temperature was 32.8°F, 4.4°F above normal. This past March tied 1894 for the 23rd mildest March of the 124 Marches on record, but it was not the warmest March of recent years. March 2000 had an average temperature of 37.5°F, the third warmest March in Saint Cloud history. As opposed to the bulk of the winter months, March had no "split personality" or extended cold spell. There were only 3 days (11th,12th,21st) which had a high below freezing.

      The mild March conditions kept the temperature above 0°F during the entire month, the first time since March 2000 that we didn't have that cold of a low temperature. Since March marks the end of the usually threat of sub-zero weather, Saint Cloud finished the cold season of 2003-2004 with only 27 days with a low of 0°F or colder. This was the 12th lowest total of sub-zero lows on Saint Cloud records. Five of the 14 cold seasons with the fewest sub-zero lows have occurred since 1997. However, this past cold season did see our first low colder than -30°F and our first high below -10°F in 7 years

     Despite not getting the "tournament" snowstorm and only having measurable snow cover for 8 of the 31 days, Saint Cloud ended up with near normal March snowfall. The total snowfall was 8.9 inches, only 0.3 inch below the normal. The March snowfall brought the seasonal snowfall total to 50.3 inches, more than half a foot above normal. The reason for the large snowfall total? For the first 19 days of the month, there was some snow on 12 days and measurable snow on 10 days. It all came in small packages; more than an inch fell only on 3 days. And, with temperatures frequently climbing above freezing, the snow melted quickly. Still, overall precipitation was well below normal until some fairly persistent rain hit Saint Cloud on March 27. The total precipitation was 1.34 inches, 0.16 below normal.

     Now that the frost is out of the ground, the most important weather statistic remains the rainfall. From July 15 through the end of the growing season last year, Saint Cloud ended up nearly 6 inches below normal (total of 6.44 inches versus a normal of 12.38 between July 15 and November 30). The latest Drought Monitor from the National Drought Mitigation Center show that conditions across Minnesota have eased somewhat during the winter. However, most of the state is categorized in moderate to severe drought. Any prolonged period of warm and windy conditions will rapidly lead to a threat of grass fires as well as cause problems with the upcoming growing season.

March 2004 Statistics

Temperatures (°F)
Mar. 2004
Normal
Average High Temperature (°F)
42.1
37.6
Average Low Temperature (°F)
23.4
19.1
Mean Temperature for March (°F)
32.8**
28.4
**Tied with 1894 for 23rd warmest March out of 124 on record
March Extremes
Temperature(°F)
Date
Warmest High Temperature for March 2004 (°F)
63
Mar. 26th
Coldest High Temperature for March 2004 (°F)
22
March 11th
Warmest Low Temperature for March 2004 (°F)
39
March 28th
Coldest Low Temperature for March 2004 (°F)

3

March 11th
Record Temperatures in March 2004
Temperature(°F)
Date
Old Record
Daily Record Warm Low
35
March 1
33 in 1901
Temperature Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
March 2004 Days with High Temperatures <= 32°F
3
March 2004 Days with High Temperatures <= 0°F
0
0.0

Cold-season 2003-2004 Days with High Temperatures <= 0°F

3£
4.3
March 2004 Days with High Temperatures <= -10°F
0
0.0

Cold-season 2003-2004 Days with High Temperatures <= -10°F

1§
0.6
March 2004 Days with Low Temperatures <= 32°F
28
28.0

Cold-season 2003-2004 Days with Low Temperatures <= 32°F

155
151.9
March 2004 Days with Low Temperatures <= 0°F
0
3.6

Cold-season 2003-2004 Days with Low Temperatures <= 0°F

27*
42.9
March 2004 Days with Low Temperatures <= -20°F
0
0.1

Cold-season 2003-2004 Days with Low Temperatures <= -20°F

6¢
5.4
March 2004 Days with Low Temperatures <= -30°F
0
0.0

Cold-season 2003-2004 Days with Low Temperatures <= -30°F

1+
0.6
£First high of -0°F or colder since December 2000
§First high of -10°F or colder since January 1996
*12th fewest lows of 0°F or colder in 107 years of Saint Cloud temperature records
¢Most lows of -20°F or colder since 1995-1996
+First low of -30°F or colder since December 1996
Liquid Equivalent Precipitation (in)
March 2004
Normal
March 2004 Melted Precipitation (in)
1.34
1.50
March Extremes
Precipitation (in)
Date
Most Daily Precipitation in March 2004
0.36
March 27th
Precipitation Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
March 2004 Days with Measurable (>= 0.01 inch) Precipitation
14
7.1
March 2004 Days with >= 0.10 inch Precipitation
3
3.3
March 2004 Days with >= 0.25 inch Precipitation
1
1.8
March 2004 Days with >= 0.50 inch Precipitation
0
0.7
March 2004 Days with >= 1.00 inch Precipitation
0
0.1
Snowfall (in)
March 2004
Normal
March 2004 Snowfall (in)
8.9
9.2
Seasonal Snowfall (in) for Cold Season 2003-2004
50.3
44.0
March Extremes
Snowfall (in)
Date
Most Daily Snowfall (in) in March 2004
2.7
March 18th

Least Lows of 0°F or Colder During a Cold Season in Saint Cloud

Rank
Season
Number of Lows <= 0°F
1
1907-1908
11
2
2001-2002
15
3 (tie)
1920-1921
16
3 (tie)
1930-1931
16
3 (tie)
1997-1998
16
6
1986-1987
17
7
1903-1904
20
8
1900-1901
21
9 (tie)
1918-1919
22
9 (tie)
1941-1942
22
11
1999-2000
26
12
2003-2004
27
14 (tie)
1998-1999
29
1896-2003
Average
42.9


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All climate data provided courtesy of NOAA/NWS
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and Minnesota Climatology Working Group, including the Minnesota State Climatologist's Office, University of Minnesota-Saint Paul Campus.

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Send comments to: raweisman@stcloudstate.edu
Last updated: 1-April-2004
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