1. 2. 3. Northern Wisconsin Weather: March's precipitation wrap-up. 4. 12. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 23. 24.

25. 26. March's precipitation wrap-up. 27. 28.

Last month's precipitation summary: March 2008.

March saw average (or a little above) snowfall, but when everything was melted down... we ended up with receiving only half of the moisture we usually get.

An average March at the UW-Experimental Farm (10 miles south of my location) usually sees about 1.8" of liquid, I measured only 0.885", 47.5% of average.

I did, however measure 10.15" of snow during the month of March, the Farm's March average is 9.1". With warm temperatures towards the end of the month, the snow pack began melting. Snow depth went from 21.1 inches on the ground (on the 18th) down to 15.8 inches (on the 30th).

Why is 0.95" of missing liquid enough to write about?

Two reasons:

1) We reached D3 last summer, that's the US Drought Monitor's "Extreme" category. A two year drought has been underway across far northern Wisconsin; my posts concerning the drought can be found here.

2) We are already starting off the calendar year below average. Combined with drought during the last two years, we may be entering a third year.

January, February & March add up to an average of 3.68" of liquid. All together I measured 2.52"... this is 68% of average. No, that's not huge (nor as large a deficit as last August) but it's a poor start.

This map (to the upper right) is the latest from the U.S. Drought Monitor and already has a large chunk of northern Wisconsin shaded in D0: Abnormally Dry.

Our snow pack is only beginning to melt, so a D0 now is a bad thing. It indicates several things: that our snow pack is lacking and will not produce enough snow melt and/or what does melt with either runoff or is too little to bring the water tables and soil moisture back to normal.

For comparison, a list of precipitation month-by-month can be be found in this post. I measured half of average in June and August and only a third of average in July.

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