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Department of Agronomy

Kansas State University

1712 Claflin Rd.

2004 Throckmorton PSC

Manhatan, KS 66506

785-532-6101

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Extension Agronomy

Summary of March weather in Kansas: Another roller coaster

March lived up to its reputation as a transitional month. Overall, the temperatures averaged 45.7 degrees F, which was 2.4 degrees warmer than normal. It ranks as 33rd warmest since 1895 or in the warmest third of the period of record. This tells only part of the story, as temperatures went from lows in the single digits at the beginning of the month to highs above 90 degrees F in the middle of the month. The warmest departures from average were in the Northwestern Division, while the coolest conditions prevailed in the Southeastern Division. The highest temperature recorded for the month was 95 degrees F at Norton Dam the 17th. The coolest reading for the month was 1 degrees F at Mankato on the 5th. With the warmer-than-average temperatures for the month, it is not surprising that 79 new record daily highs were set. None of those records were new record highs for the month. More surprising is the fact that we still had 4 record low daily maximums. On the low temperature side, few records were set. There were 2 record low minimums set and 2 record high minimums recorded.

Statewide average precipitation was 0.45 inches which was just 19 percent of normal.  Unfortunately, that deficit averages -1.67 inches. The Northwest and West Central Divisions averaged less than 10 percent of normal for the month. The Southwestern Division came closest to normal with an average of 0.46 inches, or 34 percent of normal. The Southeastern Division had the highest average amount at 0.92 inches. Unfortunately, they typically see more precipitation in March than other divisions, and that amount translates to just 29 percent of normal.

Few severe weather events were reported in March.  A major snow event occurred at the first of the month, with highest totals in the Southeastern Division. There were also 13 hail events, most occurring in the South Central and Southeastern divisions. 

Drought conditions persist across the state, particularly in the west. There was widespread degradation in the western portions of the state. The drought-free portion of the state shrunk to nearly zero. While an El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) continues, it is weak and the impacts are uncertain. The April temperature outlook calls for warmer-than-normal conditions for most of the state. The precipitation outlook is for drier-than-normal conditions. This does not indicate how that moisture might be distributed. Given the monthly outlooks, drought conditions are likely to intensify over the next month.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

March 2015

Kansas Climate Division Summary

 

Precipitation (inches)

Temperature (oF)

 

Mar 2015

2015 Jan through Mar

 

 

Monthly Extremes

Division

Total

Dep. 1

% Normal

Total

Dep. 1

% Normal

Ave

Dep. 1

Max

Min

Northwest

0.06

-1.25

4

0.53

-1.77

24

44.9

4.7

95

4

West Central

0.09

-1.31

6

0.84

-1.66

34

45.4

3.8

94

8

Southwest

0.46

-0.90

34

1.83

-0.55

79

47.4

3.3

93

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North Central

0.25

-1.77

11

1.31

-2.16

36

44.6

2.4

93

1

Central

0.32

-1.93

13

1.48

-2.47

37

46.1

2.4

90

6

South Central

0.47

-2.16

18

1.63

-2.99

36

47.4

1.9

88

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Northeast

0.68

-1.60

29

2.13

-2.08

50

44.0

1.4

87

4

East Central

0.67

-1.98

25

2.12

-2.80

43

44.9

1.1

87

5

Southeast

0.92

-2.10

29

2.04

-3.96

33

46.6

0.7

82

6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STATE

0.45

-1.67

19

1.57

-2.28

42

45.7

2.4

95

1

 

                 

 

1. Departure from 1981-2010 normal value

 

 

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library
mknapp@ksu.edu