Weird weather pattern continues locally

Staff Report

A topsy-turvy, up and down, hot-cold — and downright weird — weather pattern this year in Mount Airy is continuing, according to the latest statistics from the city’s F.G. Doggett Water Plant.

After a January that was unusually cold and dry, February brought much warmer and wetter conditions than normal, including the breaking of a 38-year-old high-temperature record.

So it stood to reason that March would continue the unlikely weather trends, which was manifested by abnormally cool weather that was even colder on average than February despite March being the month that spring arrives.

Temperatures last month averaged 42.8 degrees — nearly five degrees cooler than Mount Airy’s normal figure for March, 47.4 degrees, based on a breakdown from the water plant, the city’s official weather-monitoring station. The mercury had averaged 44.4 degrees in February.

Aiding that cooling trend was a 21-degree reading for March 15 which was the low for the month. At the upper end of the scale was the monthly high of 76 degrees logged on March 30.

Weather statistics have been kept in Mount Airy since 1924.

Unusual precipitation

Precipitation totals last month were close to normal, 4.48 inches compared to the all-time local average for March of 4.10 inches.

But the month also presented a bit of abnormality with four snow events — two of which occurred after spring began.

Snow showers on March 8 produced no accumulation, while a wintry mix on March 12 brought 1.5 inches of snow. Snow flurries on March 21 also resulted in no accumulation, but snow, sleet and rain on March 25 led to a 1.27-inch total that was the maximum precipitation recorded for a single day last month.

In all there were 12 days during March in which measurable precipitation occurred at the water plant.

For the year as a whole, Mount Airy has received 12.52 inches, as of March 31, which is 1.65 inches, or 15.2 percent, above its normal output for the first three months of the year (10.87 inches).

Frost was noted on two days last month and fog on one.

Staff Report