Record Setting March

March Temperature

The statewide average temperature for March in Illinois was 54.9 degrees, 13.8 degrees above normal. That makes it the warmest March on record. So here are the ten warmest March’s in the Illinois statewide records that date back to 1895:

  1. 2012: 54.9°F
  2. 1946: 51.6°F
  3. 1910: 50.9°F
  4. 1945: 50.5°F
  5. 1921: 49.1°F
  6. 1938: 48.1°F
  7. 2007: 47.6°F
  8. 1973: 47.5°F
  9. 1907: 47.0°F
  10. 1918: 46.4°F

The warmest temperature report in the state was Chicago O’Hare on March 21 with 87 degrees. The coldest temperature report was Monmouth on March 5 with 5 degrees. 

January-March Temperature

The statewide average temperature for January-March in Illinois was 40.9 degrees, 9.1 degrees above normal. That makes it the warmest January-March on record.  Here you will notice that the 2000s are on the list three times as are the 1990s.

  1. 2012: 40.9°F
  2. 1921: 39.2°F
  3. 1990: 38.7°F
  4. 1946: 38.1°F
  5. 1938: 37.6°F
  6. 1998: 37.3°F
  7. 1992: 36.9°F
  8. 2006: 36.7°F
  9. 2000: 36.7°F
  10. 1973: 35.9°F

March Precipitation

The statewide average precipitation was 2.11 inches, 1.1 inches below normal or 66 percent of normal. The statistics are nothing like the March temperatures, but it did end up being the 31st driest March on record for Illinois. Precipitation was below normal across much of the state. However, there were a few wet spots with Fairview Heights (IL-SC-16) reporting the highest monthly total of 4.88 inches of precipitation. Here are the maps of accumulated precipitation and the departure from normal for March in Illinois.

March 2012 precipitation in Illinois. Click to enlarge.
Precipitation departure from normal for March 2012 in Illinois. Click to enlarge.

March Snow

With all the attention on the record warmth, it’s hard to remember that we did see snow in March. The largest monthly total was reported at Roscoe (IL-WN-2) with 5.6 inches of snow.

March 2012 snowfall in Illinois. Click to enlarge.
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