March lived up to the phrase “in like a lion and out like a lamb” only by half, according to a monthly roundup of statistics from the Southeast Fire Centre weather office.
The first three days were abnormally cold with records set for coldest average temperature on the 1st and 2nd at minus-7.7 and minus-8.2 degrees, respectively. The coldest temperature all month was minus-10.1 on the 2nd. There was as much snow on the ground on the 4th as measured at the Castlegar airport as at any other time during the winter.
Things became wetter and milder in the next few days. High pressure also produced a couple of sunny and slightly milder than normal days mid and late month, with the warmest temperature of 14.4 recorded on the afternoon of the 26th.
Otherwise March went out with slightly cooler than normal temperatures. Overall the average temperature for the month was one degree cooler than usual while the total precipitation was 39 per cent greater than normal, of which 70.5 millimetres came in rain and 20.6 centimetres in snow.
But that was nowhere near the record 111 millimetres of rain recorded in 1995 or the 59 centimetres of snow that fell in 1971. The driest March since record-keeping began was in 1969, which saw just 6.4 millimetres of rain and 20.8 millimetres of total precipitation. March 1992 was entirely snow-free.
Whitewater’s biggest dump of snow last month was 29 centimetres on the 6th. It also received 20 centimetres on the 20th and 31st, and more than 10 centimetres on nine other days. Eighty-nine centimetres fell between the 1st and 7th while the biggest drought was between the 11th and 14th.
Last month was also the first wetter than average month since September.