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Snow and cold smash Tri-City records. April records also could fall

Time lapse shows march towards spring at Hanford

March began like a lion, but left like a lamb with this time lapse video showing a persistent winter finally giving way to more spring-like weather on the Hanford Reach National Monument.
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March began like a lion, but left like a lamb with this time lapse video showing a persistent winter finally giving way to more spring-like weather on the Hanford Reach National Monument.

Expect warmer and rainier-than-usual weather this April in the Tri-Cities, says the National Weather Service.

It should be a welcome change for Tri-City residents.

March broke a record for cold weather that has stood for more than 100 years, plus a record for snow that has stood for more than half a century.

High temperatures in a typical April in the Tri-Cities are usually about 63 degrees at the start of the month, rising to 70 at the end of the month. Lows typically warm from 40 to 45 through the month.

Normal rainfall for April is about 0.6 inch.

Some of that rain should fall late this week as spring break wraps up for many area schools.

Spring break away
Jackson Rowland, 12, fires the puck into a mini practice net on a breakaway while playing with his brother, Ryan, 10, at the outdoor roller hockey rink at Highlands Grange Park in Kennewick. “I had to get them out of the house for spring break. They’ve been cooped up for too long,” said their mother Tiffani Rowland, who drove them from Grandview. Bob Brawdy Tri-City Herald

The forecast calls for a 60 percent chance of rain Friday, a slight chance rain Saturday and a 50 percent chance of rain Sunday in the Tri-Cities.

Temperatures should be close to normal, with highs in the low to mid 60s forecast Thursday through Sunday.

March one for the record books

What a difference a month makes.

A month ago on March 4 and 5 the low fell to 1 below zero in Pasco, according to the weather service.

The average temperature for the month, as recorded in Kennewick, was 37.6 degrees, or about 10 degrees below normal.

It was cold enough to break the previous record — set the century before.

The previous record was set in March 1897, when the average temperature was 39.9 degrees, according to the weather service.

Between the cold and unusually snowy February and some fresh snow early in March, Tri-City residents were contending with snow-covered ground well into March.

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Temperatures and precipitation as recorded at the Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco in March. Courtesy National Weather Service

The Tri-Cities had as much as 8 inches of snow accumulation on the ground in early March, easily setting a record.

Monthly records that are mostly complete back to the winter of 1948-49 for Kennewick showed no snow on the ground in most Marches.

The Hanford Meteorology Service reported that it was the snowiest March at its station north of the Tri-Cities since records began being kept during World War II. The station recorded 4.4 inches of fresh snow.

It also was a Hanford record for snow depth, with as much as 12 inches of snow on the ground as far into the month as March 7. By March 19 only a trace of snow was left.

Cold records fall at Hanford

Eleven daily temperature records were set at the Hanford Meteorological Station and two were tied. The records smashed previous cold temperature records by as many as seven degrees.

Here are the new and tied records:

March 3 had a record low of 9, beating the previous record of 14 set in 1989.

March 5 had a record low of 5, beating the previous record of 6 set in 1955. It also set a record for the coldest high temperature, 25. It was colder than the record of 31 set in 1945.

March 6 had a high of 28, which was the coldest on record for the date. It beat the previous record of 33 set in 1957.

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The Tri-Cities woke to find fresh snowfall less than a month ago on March 6. Bob Brawdy Tri-City Herald

March 7 had a low of 14, which beat the previous record low of 21 degrees set in 1974.

March 8 had a low of 18, beating the previous record of 20 degrees set in 2002.

March 9 had a low of 16, beating the previous record of 22 degrees set in 2009. The high temperature of 34 was the coldest on record, beating the previous record of 40 set in 1951.

March 10 tied the record low of 13 set in 1948. The high was 33, the coldest on record for the date. The previous record was 34 set in 2009.

March 11 had a low of 14, beating the previous record of 19 set in 2009. The high of 29 was the coldest on record. The previous record was 32 set in 1950.

March 14 tied the low record of 23 set in 1953.

Senior staff writer Annette Cary covers Hanford, energy, the environment, science and health for the Tri-City Herald. She’s been a news reporter for more than 30 years in the Pacific Northwest.


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