March might be cooler and rainier than usual in the Tri-Cities, according to the National Weather Service.
Normal highs for the Tri-Cities in March rise from 53 degrees at the start of the month to 63 degrees at the end of the month, and normal lows rise from 32 degrees to 40 degrees. Average precipitation for March is 0.73 inch.
That follows a winter that was colder, but drier than usual as measured in December, January and February at Hanford, according to the Hanford Meteorological Station, which keeps records back to 1945.
Precipitation totaled 1.86 inches, which is 65 percent of normal. The winter included a new record for the amount of sleet in January.
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The all-time record at Hanford for the monthly total amount of sleet was 0.7 inch, set in January 1950. That record was broken in one day this year, Jan. 19, with 0.8 inches recorded. By the end of the month, the total had become 1 inch.
Snowfall for the winter season has totaled 12.7 inches, compared to a normal at Hanford of 14.8 inches.
February was slightly warmer than usual for the Tri-Cities, but cooler than usual at Hanford. No daily temperature records were set at Hanford.
The average temperature in the Tri-Cities was 40 degrees, which was 0.7 degree above normal. High temperatures averaged 48.1 degrees, which was 0.2 degree above normal. The highest temperature was 64 degrees Feb. 22, according to records collected in Kennewick.
Low temperatures averaged 31.9 degrees, which was 1.2 degrees above normal the lowest was 22 degrees Feb. 28. On 13 days the low fell below freezing.
At Hanford the average temperature was 37.7 degrees, which was 0.5 degree below normal. The highest temperature was 66 degrees Feb. 21, the only time the temperature rose into the 60s. The coldest was 14 degrees Feb. 28. It was one of four days last month with temperatures in the teens.
Precipitation in February in the Tri-Cities totaled 0.52 inch, which was 0.26 inch below normal. The most precipitation in a day was 0.12 inch on Feb. 11 and 21. Snowfall, as measured in Kennewick, was 1 inch for the month measured on Feb. 27.
At Hanford precipitation totaled 0.67 inch, which is 96 percent of normal. Snowfall recorded during the month was 1.5 inches, compared to a normal of 2.3 inches.
Precipitation for the year in the Tri-Cities has reached 1.46 inches, which is 0.4 inch below normal. Since the start of the water year in October, precipitation in the Tri-Cities has been 2.16 inches, which about half of normal.
The peak wind gust in February in the Tri-Cities was 52 mph on Feb. 22. That was the only day with a gust greater than 50 mph.
At the Hanford Meteorological Station the peak gust measured was 53 mph on Feb. 22.