Crozet Weather Almanac: March Was Colder Than February

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Courtesy Heidi Sonen/Roscoe Shaw

Heidi and I officially diagnosed this winter with multiple personality disorder. We are meteorologists, not psychologists, but what else can you say?

Winter took a bitter cold turn on Christmas day and for the next two weeks we suffered historic cold. Almost every day dropped below 20 degrees and often into the single digits with zero at our house on January 7. Then we soared to 67 degrees on January 12 and back down to 8 by the 15th. Despite all the cold, almost no snow fell.

The last half of January was mostly warm and February was crazy-warm with many days in the 60s and 70s. The hottest was 81 on Feb 21. Wintergreen gave up and closed for the season.

But winter was just getting started. March proved to be one of the coldest on record. Snow fell on three days and the six inches of snow on the first day of spring was the biggest storm of the year.

Only four times in the last 70 years has March been colder than February. Usually, we warm up a full eight degrees but this year, March was actually two degrees colder than February. That’s the biggest February to March drop in our record book.

The opposite happened in 1979. February was brutally cold but March was a stunning 20 degrees warmer.

The good news for spring lovers is that there is no way April will be colder than March. Our normal high hits 70 by April 17 and 80 by Memorial Day Weekend.

We aren’t totally convinced that we are done with snow for the year, but it is likely that we will finish with a seasonal total of 11 inches of snow. Normal is 19 inches. Last year had a pathetic three inches. The period 2009-2016 was very snowy with an annual average of 25 inches, so we were due for a few low-snow years. These things eventually even out. 

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