Crozet Weather Almanac: March 2012

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Fourth Warmest Ever

By Heidi Sonen and Roscoe Shaw

March 2012 Weather

March finished as the fourth warmest ever when compared to the normal.  We finished an astonishing 9.4 degrees above average.

We have 1278 months’ worth of temperature data for this area (106 years) and only three months had a warmer anomaly.  March of 1945 was 13 degrees above the normal.  January 1932 and January 1950 were also more extreme than this month.

Another way to put it is that last month was normal March weather for Montgomery, Alabama.

You would think that a month so warm would be snowless, but that’s not the case.  Four inches of snow snarled the morning rush hour on March 5 before melting in the afternoon.

Don’t jump to conclusions about what this means for our future.  Remember that we had three straight colder than normal winters and snow fell last October 28.  The trend reversed and winter was remarkably mild.  So what happened back in 1945 after that wickedly warm March that was even warmer than this year?  World War II ended that summer and returning soldiers were treated to slightly cooler than normal temperatures.

Actually, central Virginia has been quite cool overall the past few years. 2009 was well below normal and almost rivaled the coldest on record here from the late 1970’s.  In that regard, a warm up was due.

Whatever lies ahead, it will almost certainly be nice, since most folks list April and May as the nicest time of year here.  A normal April for us is almost exactly the same temperature as our record March.  Have fun mowing grass!

March Rain Totals:

  • Afton  Summit 4.08”
  • UVA  4.06”
  • Crozet  3.50”
  • White Hall  3.20”
  • Waynesboro   3.21”
  • Charlottesville Airport  1.96”