March 2016 Very Warm and Dry Across the First State

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Figure 1. Delaware statewide mean March temperature (°F) 1895-2016. Red line indicates 1981-2010 normal.
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Figure 2. Delaware statewide March precipitation (inches) 1895-2016. Red line indicates 1981-2010 normal.

March Temperatures

Preliminary data indicates that the statewide average temperature in March was 49.7°F; this was 5.7°F above the 1981-2010 normal of 44.0°F (Figure 1). This made March 2016 the 4th warmest since records began in 1895.

March Precipitation

Delaware’s statewide precipitation for March 2016 averaged 2.16 inches, 2.04 inches below the 1981-2010 mean (Figure 2). Monthly snowfall was 2.7 inches at the New Castle County Airport, a value close to the March normal.

Statewide Spatial Averages

Data from the Delaware Environmental Observing System (DEOS) shows that temperatures were above normal across the entire State, with the largest positive anomalies occurring across New Castle County, DE and Chester County, PA (Figure 3). Precipitation was below normal at each station across the region, with the largest deficits found along the Atlantic Coast of Delaware and Chester County, PA (Figure 4).

March 2016 average temperature departures (°F) from the 1981-2010 mean based upon DEOS station data.
Figure 3. March 2016 average temperature departures (°F) from the 1981-2010 mean based upon DEOS station data.
March 2016 precipitation departures (inches) from the 1981-2010 mean based upon DEOS station data.
Figure 4. March 2016 precipitation departures (inches) from the 1981-2010 mean based upon DEOS station data.
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