March was warmer than normal for much of the Northeast, with average temperatures ranging from near normal to 6°F above normal for most areas. A few locations in western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania were even warmer at more than 6°F above normal. All 35 major climate sites experienced above-normal temperatures, with departures ranging from 1.4°F above normal in Portland, ME, and Albany, NY, to 7.4°F above normal in Erie, PA. This March ranked among the 20 warmest on record at 29 major climate sites.
Much of the Northeast had a drier-than-normal March, with portions of New England, New York, and northern Pennsylvania seeing between 25% and 50% of normal precipitation. However, some areas were wetter, particularly southern West Virginia which saw between 150% and 200% of normal precipitation. At the major climate sites, precipitation ranged from 33% of normal in Erie, PA, to 139% of normal in Atlantic City, NJ, its ninth wettest March. Overall, 27 of the 35 major climate sites were drier than normal, with 10 of them ranking this March among their 20 driest on record. In addition, below-normal precipitation, low streamflow, and low soil moisture caused abnormal dryness and moderate drought conditions to expand in the region.
With above-normal temperatures and, in many locations, below-normal precipitation, March snowfall was also below normal in the Northeast. The largest deficits of more than 12 inches were found in portions of almost every Northeast state. Snowfall departures at the 35 major climate sites ranged from 14.9 inches below normal in Rochester, NY, to 1.1 inches below normal in Atlantic City, NJ. This March was the least snowy on record (in many cases, tying several years) at 13 major climate sites and ranked among the 20 least snowy for another 21 major climate sites. In addition, it was the first time on record that Bridgeport, CT, received no snow during March.
According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, April is expected to warmer than normal for the entire Northeast. There are equal chances of below-, near-, or above-normal precipitation.