March 2013 Brings Below Normal Temperatures and Precipitation Across Delaware

Below normal temperatures and drier than normal conditions characterized Delaware’s Climate in March 2013. Spatially, data from the Delaware Environmental Observing System (DEOS) shows that the average March temperatures across Delaware were significantly below normal across southern and coastal Sussex County and across central portions of Kent County. Northern portions of Delaware and Chester County, PA had more modest negative temperature departures.

Statewide Mean March Temperature 1895-2013
Figure 1. Delaware statewide mean March temperature (°F) 1895-2013.
de_statewideMarchPrecip-1895-2013_0.png
Figure 2. Delaware statewide March precipitation (inches) 1895-2013.

March Temperatures

Preliminary data indicates that the statewide average temperature in March was 41.2° F. This is 2.9° F below the 1981-2010 normal of 44.1° F (Figure 1).

March, the first month of climatological spring, was more than 4°F colder than December 2012, the first month of winter.

The difference in temperature between March 2012 and this year was apparent to most Delawareans, with March 2013 temperatures 11.3° F colder than last March.

March Precipitation

Delaware’s statewide precipitation for March 2013 averaged 3.44”, which is 0.82” below the 1981-2010 mean (Figure 2). Even with this below normal rainfall amount, Delaware did have 2” more precipitation in March 2013 compared to March 2012.

Statewide Spatial Averages

Spatially, data from the Delaware Environmental Observing System (DEOS) shows that the average March temperatures across Delaware were significantly below normal across southern and coastal Sussex County and across central portions of Kent County. Northern portions of Delaware and Chester County, PA had more modest negative temperature departures (Figure 3).

Mean maximum temperatures were far below normal across the entire state (Figure 4), while mean minimum temperatures were significantly below normal across southern Sussex County and near normal in northern New Castle County (Figure 5).

Mean minimum temperatures were actually slightly above normal across portions of Chester County, PA.

Precipitation deficits compared to the 30-year normals were greatest in northern Delaware and Chester County, PA, decreasing to near normal values across much of Sussex County (Figure 6).

March 2013 average temperature departures from the 1981-2010 mean based upon DEOS station data
Figure 3. March 2013 average temperature departures from the 1981-2010 mean based upon DEOS station data.
Delaware Mean Max Temperature Anomaly for March 2013
Figure 4. March 2013 maximum temperature departures from the 1981-2010 mean based upon DEOS station data
Delaware Mean Min Temperature Anomaly for March 2013
Figure 5. March 2013 minimum temperature departures from the 1981-2010 mean based upon DEOS station data.
Delaware Mean Precipitation Anomaly for March 2013
Figure 6. March 2013 precipitation departures from the 1981-2010 mean based upon DEOS station data
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