PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — March of 2018 won’t go down in the record books for any kind of special month, but it is definitely one that we will soon be looking to forget thanks to heavy snow and the cold temperatures that we just could not shake across the Delaware and Lehigh Valleys.
First, let’s break down the snow that came in the form of four nor’easters that roared through the regions starting the very first week and then coming again and again each of the next three subsequent weeks on what seemed to be a snowy conveyor belt.
March of 2018 ended with a total of 15.2 inches of snow when it all was said and done. That ties us for the second snowiest March on record for the city of Philadelphia. The last time we had 15.2 inches of snow in March was 1914! The only year that this year trailed was 1941 when Philly received 17.7 inches of snow.
On average, March gets 3.8 inches of snow in Philly. When you compare this year to last year as well, we received over 8 inches more this year than the 7 inches we got in 2017.
Throughout the month of March we had five days with measurable snow, or snow totals greater than 0.01 of an inch and a total of 10 days where we received any snow at all. The five days of measurable snow ties us for fifth all time for number of snow days in March. The last time we had five days with measurable snow in the month of March was 2015. However, 2015 only left us with a total of 12 inches of snow, so quite a bit for the month but still not close to what we received this year. The snow wasn’t the only issue for the month either as temperatures remained well below normal all throughout the 31 days of March.
March will not go down as one of the coldest on record like the snow will but it still was quite uncomfortable, especially in the second half of the month as we try to prepare for the spring time. For 2018, we averaged a high temperature of 47.6 degrees, and the average temperature for the month was 40.1 degrees. Again, this will not come in as a top 10 coldest month or anything like that, but it still was over 3 degrees before normal on average and the only reason it wasn’t colder was because the two days of 70s at the end of the month really pulled the average up to save the day.
When we check the breakdown for the highs through the month we get a really good idea of just how cold it was. We ended March with only five days where the temperature was in the 50s, zero days where the high temperature was in the 60s and two days where the high was in the 70s. In a typical March we should have 16 days where the high temperature reaches 50 degrees or more. This year we only got seven total days. The last time we had a March where not a single day was in the 60s was 2001 when the closest we got to 60 was 58 degrees.
Also, for 2018, we had 29 days where the high temperature in the afternoon never reached the 60 mark. This was the first March since 2013 where we had that many days without reaching 60. This year also put us tied for second in the number of days where the high temperature in the afternoon was at 50 or below. There were 26 days this March where we stayed at 50 or lower in the afternoon, tying 1970 for the second time that has happened on record.
As you can see, in general, this was just a very cold and snowy month with a few stats here or there that push the record books, but we looked at just a very cold and wet month. While the consensus is that we are hoping for spring to be right around the corner, it looks, unfortunately, like April is going to continue our trend of cold temperatures and active weather.
Stay tuned for a post on spring snowfall and an April climate outlook as well.