<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> March 2005 Saint Cloud Weather Summary
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This Month's Daily Statistics

Saint Cloud Weather Summary for March 2005

March Bucks the Trends by Being Normally Cold and Dry

March 2005 in Saint Cloud broke the string of unusually mild months as well as the snowy trend seen in January and February. The average temperature at the Saint Cloud Airport was 29.1°F, only 0.7°F above normal. In fact, Saint Cloud was working on a colder than normal March for the first three weeks. During March 1-20, the average temperature was 23.0°F (avg. high 32.8°F, avg. low 13.2°F). While these temperatures are normal for the first week of March, the persistently cooler than normal temperatures had Saint Cloud dabbling with a March that could have been nearly the same as February. During March 7-20, the high temperature never reached 40°F. However, during the last 11 days of the month, a warming trend moved in. The average temperature during March 21-31 was 40.2°F (avg. high 51.4°F, avg. low 29.0°F), typical of April 8. We didn't have a high temperature colder than 41°F nor a low colder than 20°F during the last 10 days of the month.

Still, even when we have near normal cold for a while, we continue with some very mild trends. With the possibility of below zero days now remote, the cold season of 2004-2005 only had 27 days with a low of 0.7°F. The average number of days in a cold season is 42.7 days. The low total for 2004-2005 tied for the 12th lowest number of below zero days out of the 109 years in Saint Cloud records. Seven seasons out of the 17 with the fewest days with lows of 0°F or colder have occurred since 1997-1998.

Saint Cloud came within two days of having the second driest March on record (Top 10 Wettest/Driest Marches). Through the early morning of March 29, only 0.07 inches of melted precipitation had fallen. However, the morning thunderstorms on March 29 dropped 0.58 inch of rain in Saint Cloud, as well as some small hail. This increased our March precipitation total to 0.65 inches, which was still 0.85 inches below normal. This was still the lowest March rainfall since 1996. (Historic Saint Cloud Precipitation of the past 20 years). Locally, the thunderstorms produced hail of 3/4 inch in diameter that covered the ground near Watkins.

The dry weather was also reflected by the low March snowfall total. Only 1.0 inch of snow fell at the Saint Cloud Airport, compared to the normal 8.5 inches. This March ranks as the 14th brownest in Saint Cloud records. However, the Top 10 Brownest Marches includes 6 Marches with no measurable snowfall. The most recent snowless March was in 2000. Of course, you didn't need to travel far to find snow from the huge March 18 snowstorm that produced a swath of 12-20 inches across southern Minnesota from Sioux Falls through Rochester and LaCrosse.

The 2004-2005 Saint Cloud Airport snowfall is only 27.1 inches, 16 inches below normal for the year. (Monthly Snowfall since 2000 and Average Monthly and Seasonal Snowfall) If we get no more snowfall this season, 2004-2005 would have the 22nd lowest seasonal snowfall on record and the lowest since 1986-1987 (16.7 inches, 5th lowest snowfall on record; Top 10 Whitest/Brownest snowfall seasons). Our normal seasonal snowfall is 45.8 inches.

The reason for the dry weather pattern is the splitting of the steering winds across North America. There has been an active southern US storm track for much of the month. These systems have kept moisture away from central Minnesota. Most of our flow was dominated by the arctic stream of air from northwestern Canada into the North Central States. This accounted for our seasonably cold weather for the first 20 days. As the month went on, we have tended to be in the dead area between the two storm tracks, allowing for the recent warm-up. It's still ironic that Amarillo, Texas, which has been in the southern storm track, picked up 13.8 inches, more than we've seen in February and March combined.

However, another reason for the low Saint Cloud snowfall total may be a difference in reporting methods. Saint Cloud State University has received 37.7 inches of snowfall this winter. The observation is usually taken at SCSU shortly after the snow ends to prevent compaction, blowing, and evaporation. These methods yielded most of the difference between the reports through January, including nearly 7 inches difference in January itself. During the past month and a half, the measurements have become more uniform, but this 10 inch difference in the total snowfall still remains. If the SCSU total is more representative, we had below normal snowfall, but not an extreme snowless winter.

Are we done with snow? We've already seen that this morning's snow flurries did produce a coating of snow in Little Falls. The normal April and May snowfall total 2.6 inches. We have gone without measurable April snowfall only twice since 1986 (Monthly Snowfall since 1979). So, the odds are against us.

March 2005 Statistics

Temperatures (°F)
Mar. 2005
Normal
Average High Temperature (°F)
39.4
37.6
Average Low Temperature (°F)
18.8
19.1
Mean Temperature for March (°F)
29.1
28.4
 
March Extremes
Temperature(°F)
Date
Warmest High Temperature for March 2005 (°F)
66
Mar. 29th
Coldest High Temperature for March 2005 (°F)
20
March 14th
Warmest Low Temperature for March 2005 (°F)
42
March 29th
Coldest Low Temperature for March 2005 (°F)

-5

March 3rd
Record Temperatures in March 2005
Temperature(°F)
Date
Old Record
No record temperatures set.
Temperature Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
March 2005 Days with High Temperatures <= 32°F
9
March 2005 Days with High Temperatures <= 0°F
0
0.0

Cold-season 2004-2005 Days with High Temperatures <= 0°F

5
4.3
March 2005 Days with High Temperatures <= -10°F
0
0.0

Cold-season 2004-2005 Days with High Temperatures <= -10°F

0
0.6
March 2005 Days with Low Temperatures <= 32°F
31
28.0

Cold-season 2004-2005 Days with Low Temperatures <= 32°F

155
151.9
March 2005 Days with Low Temperatures <= 0°F
2
3.5

Cold-season 2004-2005 Days with Low Temperatures <= 0°F

27*
42.7
March 2005 Days with Low Temperatures <= -20°F
0
0.0

Cold-season 2004-2005 Days with Low Temperatures <= -20°F

5
5.4
March 2005 Days with Low Temperatures <= -30°F
0
0.0

Cold-season 2004-2005 Days with Low Temperatures <= -30°F

0
0.6
*tied for 12th fewest lows of 0°F or colder in 110 years of Saint Cloud temperature records
Liquid Equivalent Precipitation (in)
March 2005
Normal
March 2005 Melted Precipitation (in)
0.65
1.50
March Extremes
Precipitation (in)
Date
Most Daily Precipitation in March 2005
0.58
March 30th
Precipitation Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
March 2005 Days with Measurable (>= 0.01 inch) Precipitation
5
7.1
March 2005 Days with >= 0.10 inch Precipitation
1
3.3
March 2005 Days with >= 0.25 inch Precipitation
1
1.8
March 2005 Days with >= 0.50 inch Precipitation
1
0.7
March 2005 Days with >= 1.00 inch Precipitation
0
0.1
Snowfall (in)
March 2005
Normal
March 2005 Saint Cloud Airport Snowfall (in)
1.0
8.5
March 2005 SCSU Snowfall (in)
1.2
8.5
2004-2005 Seasonal Saint Cloud Airport Snowfall (1 Oct 2004 - 31 Mar 2005)
27.1
45.8 (for season)
2004-2005 Seasonal SCSU Snowfall (1 Oct 2004 - 31 Mar 2005)
37.7
45.8
Snowfall Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
March 2005 Days with Measurable (>= 0.1 inch) Snowfall
4
5.3
March 2005 Days with >= 1.0 inch Snowfall
0
2.8
March 2005 Days with >= 2.0 inch Snowfall
0
1.5
March 2005 Days with >= 5.0 inch Snowfall
0
0.1
March Extremes
Snowfall (in)
Date
Most Daily Snowfall (in) in March 2005
0.6
March 10th

 



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Last updated: 1-April-2005
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