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Year-to-Date Graph Return to Daily Statistics by Month Table

Saint Cloud Weather Summary for March 2012

March? More Like May!!

Warmest March in St. Cloud History

It was a spectacularly warm, record-breaking March in St. Cloud. The average temperature was 43.9°F, 14.5°F above average. That tops the record warm March in 1910 by 0.9°F. In fact, the average temperature would have been right about average for April.

24 Daily Record Temperatures Set

Much of the month was warmer than average (only 4 days colder than the average daily temperature), but the most impressive period was March 10 through March 24. There were 24 new record warm temperatures set or tied (see both St. Cloud March records and table below). There were 8 record warm temperatures tied or broken in 10 days (including 6 in a row), 9 straight days with a record warm average temperature tied or broken, including a new warm March average on March 18, which was broken again on March 19, and 7 straight days tying or breaking a record warm low, including a new March record warm low on March 18.

During the March 10-24 period, the average temperature was 54.5°F (high 65.9°F, low 42.1°F), more than 22 degrees warmer than the March 10-24 average (32.1°F: high 42.3°F, low 21.9°F). This would be typical weather for May 5 instead of mid-March. From March 17 through March 23, the low temperature was never as cold as the average high for the day.

St. Cloud had 6 days with a high temperature of 70 or above. Only March 1910 (8 days, including the March record warm high of 81 degrees) has had more.

The Minnesota State Climatology Office notes that we have plenty of company for record setting temperatures and the National Weather Service has these records on a graph..

Warmest Six Months of Cold Season on Record

For the entire cold season so far (October-March), the 2011-2012 cold season ranks as the warmest by far. The average temperature of 33.2°F is ahead of 1999-2000 and 2001-2002 by 3.8°F.

More Statistics Showing A Relatively Easy Cold Season

The end of March means that we have set records or near records for many winter milestones. There were only 49 days with a high temperature of freezing or colder. The odds of getting a high temperature that cold in April are very slim, so 2011-2012 has likely broken the record for fewest freezing or colder highs by 4 over 1918-1919. In an average cold season, there are 88 such days.

St. Cloud has past the season when lows fall to zero or below. Only 10 days were that cold in 2011-2012, breaking the St. Cloud record for fewest zero or colder lows (11), set in 1907-1908.

The coldest low temperature reached this past cold season was only -17°F. That tied 2006-2007 for the third mildest extreme low. Only one cold season, 2001-2002, failed to reach -10. 2011-2012 was also the sixth cold season that St. Cloud never got as cold as -20.

While we can't say that St. Cloud is guaranteed to be done with snow cover, the low snowfall for the cold season is also on the mild side. Only 0.7 inch fell in March. That wasn't low enough to make it into the top 10 lowest March totals, but 2012 joins 2010 and 2000 as Marches with less than an inch. The total 2011-2012 snowfall stands at 27.4 inches. In 2004-2005, there was less snow (27.2 inches), but 2011-2012 (if it stands up through April) and 2004-2005 have the least seasonal snowfall in the past 25 years.

There were 62 days with an inch of snow cover this cold season so far. That's the fewest days since 2002-2003 and less than half of last cold season's 131 days. The average is a bit more than 99 days. The longest streak of consecutive days with a snow cover was 32 days, the least since the 26 days in 2002-2003. The average is 86 days.

After the snow melted, there was some significant rainfall. The St. Cloud Airport got 1.15 inches of rain in March, .35 less than average. It was enough, however, for lawns to green up and trees to bud.

Weak Tornado Confirmed Near Lake Elysian

A damage survey from the National Weather Service in Chanhassen confirmed an EF-0 tornado that moves through Waseca and LeSueur Counties on March 19. The majority of the damage was produced by straight line winds. Winds were estimated at 80-85 MPH.

This is the second earliest Minnesota tornado. The record is March 18, 1968 for a tornado that hit Truman, north of Fairmont.

 

March 2012 Statistics

Temperatures (F)
Mar 2012
Average
Average High Temperature (F)
54.4
37.6
Average Low Temperature (F)
33.4
19.1
Mean Temperature for March (F)
43.9!
28.4
Warmest March in St. Cloud Records
March Extremes
Temperature(F)
Date
Warmest High Temperature for March 2012 (F)
78 (set record; see below)
March 19
Coldest High Temperature for March 2012 (F)
25
March 3
Warmest Low Temperature for March 2012 (F)
61 (new record for March; see below)
March 18
Coldest Low Temperature for March 2012 (F)

-2

March 4
Record Temperatures in March 2012
Temperature(F)
Date
Old Record
Daily Record Warm High
54 (tie)
March 10
Tied record set in 1977
61
March 11
60 set in 1901 and 1902
 
71
March 14
65 set in 1981
 
65
March 15
64 set in 1935
 
76
March 16
63 set in 1930
 
75
March 17
65 set in 1966
 
75
March 18
70 set in 1910
 
78
March 19
71 set in 1910
Daily Record Warm Mean
54
March 14
53 set in 1902
 
48 (tie)
March 15
First set in 1902 and 2003
 
57
March 16
46 in 1966
 
63
March 17
52 in 1966
 
68
March 18 (broke March record)
52 in 1958
 
69
March 19 (broke March record)
55 in 1910
 
56
March 20
49 in 1910
 
57 (tie)
March 21
First set in 1938
 
58
March 22
55 in 1910
Monthly Record Warm Mean
68
March 18
64 on March 29, 1910
 
69
March 19
68 on March 18, 2012
Daily Record Warm Low
51*
March 17
42 in 1968
 
61**
March 18 (broke March record)
46 in 1968
 
59
March 19
39 in 1921, 1987
 
56
March 20
37 in 1918
 
50
March 21
43 in 1938, 1946
 
53
March 22
40 in 1910
 
52
March 23
43 in 1910
Monthly Record Warm Low
61
March 18
52 on March 29, 1910

*Earliest 50-degree low on record. Old record: March 25, 1945 and 2007

**Earliest 60-degree low on record. Old record: April 16, 1976

   
Temperature Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
March 2012 Days with High Temperatures <= 32F
3
10.1
Cold Season 2011-2012 Days with High Temperatures <= 32°F 49 (Fewest on record through March) 87.7
March 2012 Days with High Temperatures <= 0F
0
0.0

Cold-season 2011-2012 Days with High Temperatures <= 0F

0
4.3
March 2012 Days with Low Temperatures <= 32F
12
28.0

Cold-season 2011-2012 Days with Low Temperatures <= 32F

140
155.4
March 2012 Days with Low Temperatures <= 0F
0
3.5

Cold-season 2011-2012 Days with Low Temperatures <= 0F

42.7
March 2012 Days with Low Temperatures <= -20F
0
0.0

Cold-season 2011-2012 Days with Low Temperatures <= -20F

0
5.4
Liquid Equivalent Precipitation (in)
March 2012
Normal
March 2012 Melted Precipitation (in)
1.15
1.50
March Extremes
Precipitation (in)
Date
Most Daily Precipitation in March 2012
0.49
March 19
Daily Precipitation Records
Amount (inches)
Date
Old Record
No records set
Precipitation Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
March 2012 Days with Measurable (>= 0.01 inch) Precipitation
13
7.1
March 2012 Days with >= 0.10 inch Precipitation
3
3.3
March 2012 Days with >= 0.25 inch Precipitation
1
1.8
March 2012 Days with >= 0.50 inch Precipitation
0
0.7
March 2012 Days with >= 1.00 inch Precipitation
0
0.1

Link to 10 Wettest/Driest Marches Complete list of Saint Cloud March Records
Snowfall (in)
March 2012
Normal
March 2012 Saint Cloud Airport Snowfall (in)
0.7
8.5
2011-2012 Seasonal Snowfall (1 Oct 2011 - 31 Mar 2012)
27.4
45.8

10 Whitest Cold Seasons

Snowfall Thresholds
Number of Days
Average
March 2012 Days with Measurable (>= 0.1 inch) Snowfall
2
5.3
2011-2012 Cold Season Total Days with Measurable (>= 0.1 inch) Snowfall
24
31.8
March 2012 Days with >= 1.0 inch Snowfall
0
2.8
2011-2012 Cold Season Total Days with >= 1.0 inch Snowfall
10
14.0.
March 2012 Days with >= 2.0 inch Snowfall
0
1.5
2011-2012 Cold Season Total Days with >= 2.0 inch Snowfall
6
7.6
March 2012 Days with >= 5.0 inch Snowfall
0
0.1
2011-2012 Cold Season Total Days with >= 5.0 inch Snowfall
1
1.4
#11th Highest Total in St. Cloud Records (105 Cold Seasons)    
March Extremes
Snowfall (in)
Date
Most Daily Snowfall (in) in March 2012
0.5
March 3
Daily Snowfall Records
Amount (inches)
Date
Old Record
No Records Set

 

 

Warmest St. Cloud Average Temperature Oct-Mar
Rank
Cold Season

Avg Oct-Feb Temp(°F)

1
2011-2012
33.2
2 (tie)
1999-2000
29.4
2 (tie)
2001-2002
29.4
4
1881-1882
29.3
5
1920-1921
29.2
6 (tie)
1930-1932
29.0
6 (tie)
1986-1987
29.0
8
1918-1919
28.8
9 (tie)
1997-1998
28.7
9 (tie)
2005-2006
28.7
St. Cloud Fewest Highs of Freezing or Colder (Average: 87.6 Days)
Rank
Winter

Number of Days

1
2011-2012
49 (through Mar)
2
1918-1919
53
3
1913-1914
59
4
1999-2000
61
5 (tie)
1980-1981
62
5 (tie)
1998-1999
62
7 (tie)
1901-1902
63
7 (tie)
1986-1987
63
9 (tie)
1907-1908
65
9 (tie)
1941-1942
65

 

 

St. Cloud Fewest Lows of 0°F or Colder
Rank
Cold Season

Number of Days

1
2011-2012
10
2
1907-1908
11
3
2001-2002
15
4 (tie)
1920-1921
16
4 (tie)
1930-1931
16
4 (tie)
1997-1998
16
7 (tie)
1986-1987
17
7 (tie)
2005-2006
17
9
1903-1904
20
10
1900-1901
21

 

 

Rank
Winter

Coldest Low Temperature of Season (°F)

1
2001-2002
-9
2
1982-1983
-16
3 (tie)
2005-2006
-17
3 (tie)
2011-2012
-17
5
1900-1901
-18
6
1897-1898
-19
7 (tie)
1956-1957
-20
7 (tie)
1986-1987
-20
9
1931-1932
-21
7 tied with -22, including 2006-2007
   
2007-2008
-24
2008-2009
-36
2009-2010
-27
2010-2011
-29
Most March 70-Degree Highs (40 total)
Rank Year

Number of Days

1
1910
8
2
2012
6
3
1963
3
4 (tie)
1939
2
4 (tie)
1946
2
4 (tie)
1968
2
4 (tie)
1986
2
4 (tie)
1987
2
9 (tie)
13 years tied with 1, including 1999, 2000, 2007, 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Updated: April 2, 2012

Send comments to: Bob Weisman