The Washington Post

Washington D.C. March 2011 in review: slightly cold temps and wet

Our recently-ended March 2011 was a strange month with lots of temperature variability and some interesting precipitation events. From a temperature standpoint, the month was 5.6 degrees colder than last March and almost 1 degree colder than the thirty-year fixed normal (1971-2000). Our warmest day was that excellent 80-degree high temperature on March 18 and our coolest day was the 41-degree high on March 3 followed by the 42F just last week on March 31.

Precipitation was about 4.4” at National Airport, which is .8” above normal. The airport saw two days of trace snow accumulation (March 30th and 7th) with that little 0.2” dusting on March 27th.

Large scale pattern features that contributed to a warm first two-thirds of the month and cold conclusion.

March average temperatures in Washington, D.C.

The entire data set (dating back to the late 1800s) that includes a long stint at the downtown measurement site (prior to the 1942) shows that the two warmest Marches on record occurred in 1921 and 1945. Both of those years were 10 degrees warmer than this past March. The coldest Marches on record occcurred in 1885 and 1960 and were about 10 degrees colder than this past March.

The National Weather Service publishes nice monthly assessments usually within a week of the close of each month.

You can click on your closest airport location here:

Reagan National (DCA)

Dulles Airport (IAD)

Baltimore-Washington (BWI)

Washington, DC data provided by NOAA and Speedwell Weather .

Matt Rogers is a meteorologist and a Petworth resident. He is president and co-founder of Commodity Weather Group in Bethesda, Md., which focuses on weather risks for the energy and agriculture sectors. Like most meteorologists, his passion for weather started extremely early in life and has never let go.


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