March 2015: The lion never left!

2015-03-24 17:23:08.000 – Tom Padham, Weather Observer/Meteorologist

 

After a very cold and windy winter across the higher summits, March appears to have continued the trend. A typical March on the summit of Mount Washington sees average temperatures rise from only 9 degrees on the first to the seemingly balmy upper teens (18) by the end of the month. After having our second coldest February on record just this past month, March has continued that trend. So far this month we have seen 14 days with readings below zero, with the lowest reading of 23 below actually occurring just 2 days ago. Currently the average temperature for the yet-unfinished month of March is 4.1 degrees above, which if It held would be the coldest March on record! Looking ahead at the rest of the days in this month it does appear likely that this number will rise due to warmer temperatures ahead, but March 2015 will still likely end up in the top 10 coldest.

Winds have been very impressive on the summit this winter, especially this month. March is known for its winds, with some of the strongest Nor’easter systems forming during late winter. The stronger March sun begins warming the ground a bit more, while arctic air still occasionally dives south out of Canada, allowing for large areas of clashing air masses that fuel developing storm systems. The average wind speed for the month of March is 40.3 mph. So far this month the average wind speed has been an impressive 51.0 mph, making it the 6th windiest March. This number is likely to fall off a bit due to lower winds to end out the month. Also of note we’ve seen 10 days, or roughly one-third of the month, see daily peak gusts of over 100 mph. This number of 100 mph days was last seen in January 2012. With one week left to go, we’ll see where March 2015 ends up in the records, but this winter, and certainly February and March, have been very impressive. The old saying “March comes in like a lion, and out like a lamb” doesn’t really apply here. The lion never left!

 

Winds sustained near 100 mph with a gust to 111 mph on the evening of March 22nd.

 

Tom Padham, Weather Observer/Meteorologist

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