Above-average temperatures had the crocuses blooming in March.

March warmer, drier than normal in West Kootenay

A year after the wettest March on record, last month saw only two-thirds of the normal amount of rain.

A year after the wettest March on record, last month saw only two-thirds of the normal amount of rain and one of the warmest temperatures in nine years.

“What a difference a year makes,” Southeast Fire Centre weather forecaster Ron Lakeman wrote in his monthly roundup. The lack of precipitation was even more unique given that most of it fell as snow, he said.

“Granted most of the snow was wet and rapidly melted, but the monthly snowfall was more than double the average.”

Just over 32 centimetres of snow fell at the airport in Castlegar while only 9.1 millimetres of rain fell — 19 per cent of the monthly normal.

The average temperature was slightly above average. While most of the month was cool and unsettled, high pressure dominated to create dry and unseasonably warm conditions during the final six days, Lakeman said.

The thermometer reached 20.1 degrees Celsius on the afternoon of the 30th, the first time we’ve seen a temperature above 20 in March since 2004. The record high for the month of 23.1 was set on March 30, 2004.

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