Crozet Weather Almanac: March 2013


What Happened to Spring?

By Heidi Sonen & Roscoe Shaw 

Chart courtesy Heidi Sonen & Roscoe Shaw
Chart courtesy Heidi Sonen & Roscoe Shaw

I suppose it’s still coming but it’s remarkably late.  Heidi’s weather calendar says “March 22…cherry trees bloom.” Still waiting.

One thing that makes this March so striking is how different it was from last March.  March of 2012 was the second warmest in 100 years of records with an average temperature of 57 degrees. This March, by contrast, was a full 16 degrees colder and ranked as the sixth coldest.

We finally got some snow, too. 14.5 inches fell during the month making it the fifth snowiest on record. March 1960 was the all time champ with 30 inches of snow. My mother still talks about that winter. “It was my first winter in the south and it snowed every Wednesday. I thought I was back in Michigan.” It is probably no coincidence that I was conceived that month.

I suspect that a month from now, it will all be a distant memory. The average high by the end of April is 74, and we are headed into what most folks around here consider our best weather months.

Rainfall was ample in March and we are in good shape for water for the summer growing season. Ground water is about average and stream flow is above average. The chance of a 2002-type of drought is virtually zero this year.


Rainfall totals for the Month

Some of the rain gauges are not heated so they under-measure during snowstorms. This was an issue in March, especially with the big snows March 6.

  • Rockfish  4.93”
  • Crozet  3.95”
  • Afton summit  3.86”
  • Greenwood  3.76”
  • Waynesboro  3.43”
  • Nellysford  3.38”
  • Univ. of Virginia  3.18”
  • CHO airport  3.13”