March 2017 Met Central - Hottest March on Record

And the heat goes on.
March busted almost all of the previous March
temperature records. Warm and warmer was the story of March. There
were only 7 days with daily high temperatures at or below average.
Monthly average daily highs, daily lows and daily averages all broke
the previous records. Three new daily high temperature records were
set as well.

    March Record Temperatures - High 30.1 (86.2 F), Low -21.5 (-6.7 F)
    March '17 Record Temperatures - High 29.5 (85.1 F), Low -11.2 (11.8 F)

There was no moisture during the first 22 days of March. A storm
on the 23rd provided a little moisture but it was a storm on the 28th
and 29th that pushed the average monthly total up to 9.4 mm which was
still below the March long-term average of 12.9 mm.

March Meteorological Summary

                     March       March '17        March '17
Variable             Long-term* Mean    Mean           Mean Range
Mean Max Temp (C)         18.06           22.1         14.7 - 17.0
Mean Min Temp (C)          0.72            2.4         -3.4 - 2.2
Mean Average Temp (C)      9.39           12.3          6.8 - 9.3
Mean R.H. (%)              35.1           28.9         41.9 - 46.5
Mean Vap Press. (mb)       3.79            3.83        4.31 - 4.56
Mean Max Wind (m/sec)     10.9            10.9          9.5 - 11.4
Mean Solar Rad. (kWh/m2)   5.87            6.42       4.15  - 4.85
Precip.(mm)               12.9             9.4          4.1 - 16.9
*Long-term refers to all of the Sevilleta met stations for 1989-2016

Albuquerque - Sevilleta Comparison

Albuquerque was also dry for most of the month. The first and only
measurable rainfall came on the 28th.

Most notable was the warm temperatures throughout almost the entire
month. This now becomes the warmest March in Albuquerque's
1893-present record.

               Loc         Precip          Normal         % of Normal
March      	ABQ        5.1 mm         14.5 mm            35 %
                SEV        9.4 mm         12.9 mm            73 %

Year to Date    ABQ        40.4 mm        36.3 mm           111 %
                SEV        53.2 mm        28.4 mm           187 %
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Water-year Precipitation

Although March precipitation came in below average, the good news is
that this is the first month since last October that this has
happened. The water year still running at 166% of average

     Water Year Precipitation (mm)

Month           Mean            2016-2017    
Oct             22.2               5.1       
Nov             11.2              45.1
Dec		14.1		  23.1
Jan              8.0		  33.9
Feb 		 7.5		  10.0
Mar		12.9		   9.4
                75.9		  126.6   


The warm and dry March saw a considerable drying across New Mexico.
The U.S. Drought Monitor popped the area of the state that is
considered drier than normal from 23% last month to 49% by the end of

Snow packs took a huge hit during the month. With no moisture for
almost a month many snow packs saw huge declines. A storm on the 23rd
helped some of the northern mountains


The El Nino Southern Oscillation is currently in a neutral state with
models showing a possible move toward El Nino toward the end of the
year. The Sea Surface Temperature anomaly for the key 3.4 Nino zone
is at +0.3. The Ocean Nino Index (ONI) for the Dec-Jan-Feb period was
-0.4 and is now -0.2 which indicates a continued warming.

The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) actually went back in the La Nina
direction with a +0.9 for March.

Notables from on and off the Sev

A prescribed burn in early March
was carried out on Nunn Flats. The
burn was bounded by the Nunn road on the east, the North McKenzie road
on the SW and by the refuge boundary on the north.

The high Sevilleta and Albuquerque temperatures extended to the entires state as well.
Both new average daily high temperatures
daily average temperatures
were set. These new records spanned the past 123 years.

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