End of March Cold


The end of March saw a pattern in which a massive area of low pressure took over the flow across the North Atlantic, extending from Newfoundland and Labrador all the way across into Western Europe.  The westerly and northwesterly flow that this low pressure system induced to its southwest in the western Atlantic brought a very unseasonably cold  air mass into the Eastern United States and the Western Atlantic. Indeed, a series of troughs that rotated around the main large area of low pressure centered near Iceland brought near gales and showers to Bermuda. Some of these showers were intense enough to produce small hail for Good Friday.

Although the cold commenced almost a week earlier, the 28th and 29th of March saw record low temperatures at 53.6F and 52.5F, just below the daily record lows for both dates which were 54F set in 1951 and 53F in 1959 respectively*. This impressive cold snap follows a slightly below normal January and February, and made March 2013 substantially below normal in terms of temperatures. A stormy pattern before the cold snap associated with the frequent showers and record lows pushed March to being wetter than normal by over an inch of rain – good news for agricultural and hydrological purposes, keeping us out of short term drought for another month.

* These records aren’t updated with data from 2000-2012.

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