March will be colder than usual in Tri-Cities

By Annette Cary, Tri-City HeraldMarch 7, 2013 

The Mid-Columbia has had a relatively warm and unusually dry winter, according to regional data.

But March will be colder than usual, predicts the National Weather Service.

Normal highs for the Tri-Cities in March increase from 53 degrees at the start of the month to 63 degrees at the end of the month. Normal lows increase from 32 degrees to 40 degrees.

Precipitation is expected to be near the normal of 0.73 inch for the month in the Tri-Cities.

The winter months of December through February were drier than usual at Hanford, according to data kept back to 1945 by the Hanford Meteorological Station.

Six inches of snow have been recorded at Hanford this winter, compared to a normal of 14.8 inches. Winter precipitation has totaled 1.66 inches, which is 58 percent of the normal of 2.84 inches.

The average temperature of 35 degrees for the winter months was above the normal of 34.2 degrees at Hanford.

In February, the average temperature in the Tri-Cities was 41.6 degrees, which was 2.3 degrees above normal. That followed a January that was colder than usual and a December that was markedly warmer than usual.

High temperatures in the Tri-Cities in February averaged 51.8 degrees, which was 3.9 degrees above normal. The highest, as measured in Kennewick, was 59 degrees on Feb. 28.

Low temperatures averaged 31.5 degrees, which was 0.8 degree above normal.

The lowest temperature was 26 degrees on Feb. 9 and the temperature fell below freezing on 16 days.

At Hanford, no daily temperature records were set in February.

Hanford temperatures averaged 39 degrees, which was 0.8 degrees above normal. The warmest temperature was 56 degrees on Feb. 16 and 27 and the coldest was 18 degrees on Feb. 11.

Precipitation in February in the Tri-Cities totaled just 0.03 inch, which was 0.75 inch below normal.

Hanford had just 0.09 inches of precipitation and none of it fell as snow.

Precipitation for the water year in the Tri-Cities, which starts in October, has totaled 4.05 inches, which is 0.54 inch below normal.

The fastest wind gust in the Tri-Cities in February was 39 mph on Feb. 25.

At Hanford, it was 47 mph on Feb. 22.

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