Kennewick — Expect near-normal temperatures and precipitation this month in the Tri-Cities, the National Weather Service says.
That follows a March with Mid-Columbia temperatures that averaged only slightly above normal, but that saw three new daily temperature records set at Hanford.
For April, highs should rise from about 63 degrees at the start of the month to 70 degrees at the end of the month in the Tri-Cities. Lows should rise from about 40 degrees to about 45 degrees. Normal precipitation is 0.56 inch.
Temperatures in March averaged a half degree above normal in the Tri-Cities and 1.1 degrees above normal at Hanford.
New records were set for the warmest low daily temperatures on record at Hanford, where the Hanford Meteorology Station has daily temperatures recorded back to World War II.
On March 6, the low was 46 degrees, beating the previous warm low for the date of 42 degrees in 1979.
On March 9, the low was 50 degrees, replacing the previous warm low for the date of 47 degrees in 1983.
On March 16, the low was 48 degrees, replacing the previous warm low for the date of 47 degrees in 1994.
Three daily record temperatures also were tied at Hanford in March.
On March 2, the low of 26 degrees tied the record set in 1960 for the coldest temperature for the date.
On March 5, the high of 68 degrees tied the record for the high for the date set in 1972.
On March 10, the low of 45 degrees tied the record for the warmest low for the date, as previously recorded in 2012 and other years.
Highs in March averaged 59.8 degrees in the Tri-Cities, which was 1.4 degrees above normal. The highest temperature was 71 degrees on March 10 and highs reached 70 degrees on two additional days.
Low temperatures averaged 35.9 degrees, half a degree below normal. The lowest temperature was 24 degrees on March 3 and the temperature fell below freezing on 11 days, most recently on March 23.
Precipitation in the Tri-Cities totaled 0.49 inch during March, which was about two-thirds of normal.
At Hanford, precipitation totaled 1 inch, which was more than the normal of 0.57 inch. That included 1.5 inches of snow, compared to a normal snowfall at Hanford in March of 0.4 inch. The March snow brought total snowfall for the season to 14.2 inches, compared to a normal of 15.2 inches.
Total precipitation for the Tri-Cities for the year through March has been 1.8 inches, or 0.79 inch below normal. Since October, the start of the water year, the Tri-Cities has had about half as much precipitation as usual at 2.44 inches.
The peak wind gust in the Tri-Cities in March, as measured in Kennewick, was 46 mph on March 6. At Hanford it was 48 mph on March 17.