March 2020 – Very Warm with Below Normal Precipitation

March Temperatures

Preliminary data indicates that the statewide average temperature in March was 49.8o F, which is 5.8o F above the 1981-2010 mean value of 44.0o F (Figure 1).  March 2020 was the 4th warmest since 1895 in Delaware.

March Precipitation

Delaware’s statewide precipitation for March 2020 averaged 3.59 inches, 0.61 inches below the 1981-2010 mean (Figure 2).  This placed the March 2020 precipitation amount in the “normal” category when compared to all years since 1895.

Statewide Spatial Anomalies

Data from the Delaware Environmental Observing System (DEOS) show that temperature departures were above normal throughout the State (Figure 3), with most stations more than 4o F above the 30-year mean.  Precipitation was below normal at most locations, with the largest negative anomalies found in southern Sussex County (Figure 4).

National Anomalies

Temperatures were above normal across the eastern two-thirds of the U.S., with departures reaching 7o to 10o F along the Gulf Coast.  Small negative temperature departures were found along the Pacific Coast of the country (Figure 5).    Precipitation varied greatly across the U.S. with extremely wet conditions across the Southwest and dry conditions along the Gulf Coast (Figure 6).  The 500 hPa height pattern for March showed a strong ridge dominating the eastern two-thirds of the country (Figure 7) leading to the warm temperatures across our region.


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