If it's spring, the wind will blow in the Tri-Cities.
But March was windier than usual, according to data from the Hanford Meteorological Station. It was the second-windiest March at Hanford since records started being kept in 1945.
March also was colder and wetter than usual in the Mid-Columbia, and April is forecast to bring more of the same. The National Weather Service is predicting lower temperatures and more precipitation than usual this month in the Tri-Cities.
Normal highs for the Tri-Cities in April rise from 63 degrees at the start of the month to 70 degrees at the end of the month. Normal lows rise from 40 degrees to 45 degrees. Normal precipitation is 0.56 inch.
In March the average wind speed at Hanford was 10.4 mph, which was 2.5 mph above normal. The wind record for the month was set in 1964 and tied in 1977, when speeds averaged 10.7 mph.
The peak wind gust for last month at Hanford was 56 mph March 5. In the Tri-Cities, it was 46 mph as measured in Kennewick the same day.
One daily temperature record was set at Hanford last month. A record high of 67 degrees was set March 4. The previous record for the date was 65 degrees in 2005, according to the Hanford Meteorological Station.
In addition, a daily temperature record was tied. On March 10, the low fell to only 45 degrees, the warmest low for the date since the 45 degrees recorded in 1987.
Despite those records, the average temperatures for the month were below normal at Hanford and in the Tri-Cities.
In the Tri-Cities, the average temperature was 46.9 degrees, which was 0.5 degree below normal. High temperatures averaged 57.6 degrees, which was 0.8 degree below normal. The highest temperature, as measured in Kennewick, was 72 degrees March 10. It was the only day with a temperature in the 70s.
Low temperatures in the Tri-Cities averaged 36.2 degrees, which was 0.2 degree below normal. The lowest temperature was 26 degrees March 7. The temperature was below freezing on five days.
At Hanford, the temperature averaged 45.7 degrees, which was 0.8 degree below normal. The warmest temperature was 74 degrees March 9. The coolest was 24 degrees two days earlier.
Precipitation for March in the Tri-Cities totaled 0.96 inch, which was 0.23 inch above normal. It was a rainy month with measurable precipitation on 11 days, with the heaviest precipitation, 0.56 inch, on March 22.
At Hanford, precipitation totaled 0.64 inch, which is 112 percent of normal.
A total of 0.8 inch of snow was recorded for the month at Hanford, compared with a normal of 0.4 inch for March. Snowfall for the season now totals 13.5 inches, compared with a normal of 15.2 inches.
Since October, the start of the water year, precipitation in the Tri-Cities has totaled 3.17 inches, which is 2.15 inches below normal.
For the calendar year, precipitation has totaled 2.47 inches through March in the Tri-Cities, which is 0.12 inch below normal. At Hanford, total precipitation for 2012 through March is 2.4 inches, which is above the normal of 2.21 inches.
-- Annette Cary: 582-1533; firstname.lastname@example.org