Daily Feature: March and Q1/2021 U.S. Temperature/Precipitation Rankings

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March 2021 was another warm month ranking 14th warmest in the 1895-2021 climatology. The North-central U.S. ranked in the “much above” normal category while the remainder of the U.S. (except the Great Basin, California and the Southwest) were warmer than normal. North Dakota came close to a record warm March.

March and JAN/FEB/MAR 2021 State Temperature & Precipitation Rankings

Fig. 1-4: March 2021 U.S. temperature and precipitation ranks by state (top) and JAN/FEB/MAR 2021 U.S. temperature and precipitation ranks (bottom).

Discussion: March 2021 was another warm month ranking 14th warmest in the 1895-2021 climatology (Fig. 1). The North-central U.S. ranked in the “much above” normal category while the remainder of the U.S. (except the Great Basin, California and the Southwest) were warmer than normal. North Dakota came close to a record warm March. In March the Northwest and Northeast U.S. were very dry (Fig. 2). North Dakota and Montana observed their 2nd driest March on record. Heavy precipitation fell over much of the U.S. crop areas including the Nebraska to Tennessee stretch which was “much above” normal precipitation. Nebraska observed their 2nd wettest March on record while Kansas and Tennessee recorded their 4th wettest March on record. Nationally, the U.S. ranked 60th driest on record for March (essentially near normal but the result of extremes from region-to-region).

Quarter 1 of 2021 ranked 33rd warmest on record for the U.S. lead by anomalous warmth on each coast and across the northern tier of the U.S. (Fig. 3). Eastern New England ranked in the “much above” normal category. Nationally, quarter 1 of 2021 ranked 45th driest on record (Fig. 4). The northern states were (very) dry including the driest on record in North Dakota.