Marching away from a wild month
March was colder and drier than usual. While that's the quick summary, a closer look back reveals a March with many abnormalities.
The wildest days may have come just after the calendar switch. March 1st and 2nd were both spent well above average. The weekend prior to Fat Tuesday made it seem as through the spring season had sprung early. Both days saw sunshine with afternoon highs eclipsing the 80° plateau. Monday, March 3rd was a bizarre day with a cold front that brought a quarter of an inch of rain and a 40° temperature drop. The day's high of 70° was recorded shortly after midnight followed by a late midnight low of 30° due to falling temperatures throughout the morning and afternoon. However, stranger days would lie ahead. Mardi Gras, Tuesday March 4, would go down as the second coldest Mardi Gras ever in New Orleans only defeated by a February date in the 1800s! In Baton Rouge, the high topped out at 37° after a morning of sleet and freezing rain that closed local interstates for part of the day. On that day, Baton Rouge also recorded the 34th and final freeze of the year. The remainder of that week was well below average with lows in the low 40s and highs never greater than 61°.
Despite relatively quiet weather, the middle of the month would find a couple of chilly mornings. March 13, 14, 17, 18 all began in the 30s. One more surprise episode of cool air came on March 26, with a morning low of 38°, rare for that late in the month.
Alas, on the morning of March 28, showers and thunderstorms rolled through the Baton Rouge area. A round in the early morning dumped 6-8" of rain in parts of Wilkinson and Amite Counties, stranding approximately 20-30 residents in homes with a few rescues being necessary. Later that day, a warm-up to 82°, along with an early season burst of humidity, fueled a severe weather threat that prompted a tornado watch for the entire area. Fortunately, severe reports were at a minimum with just a few occurrences of gusty winds and small hail.
You can get forecasts from Meteorologist Josh Eachus weekdays on 2une-In from 5-7am and News 2 at Noon from 12-1pm. Additionally, you can get the fastest and latest forecasts and weather news by checking in with wbrz.com/weather, liking Josh on Facebook and following him on Twitter.