Mother nature does her best to even things out: The chart-busting heat of March 2012 was followed by a March that closed out cooler than normal in 2013 in the Lower 48.
Consider this map comparing the two Marches prepared by NOAA:
Whereas March 2012 was a record-shattering 8.6 degrees above normal in the contiguous U.S., March 2013 was 0.9 degrees F. below the 20th century average, ranking 43st coolest.
Detailed information: March 2013 State of the Climate report (NOAA)
NOAA attributed the cooler than average March to the most negative Arctic Oscillation (AO) in March on record. A highly negative AO is associated with a large dip in the jet stream over the eastern two-thirds of the U.S., which shifts cold air from the Arctic southward. Remarkably, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina had March temperatures cooler than January.
The relatively cool March was poorly forecast. Consider this comparison of March’s forecast temperatures compared to reality:
Although this past March was cooler than normal in many areas, the extremes in cold could not match the extremes in heat established one year ago. More than 15,000 warm weather records were set in March 2012.
Here’s a video round-up of March 2013 from NOAA: