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March 2012

  • Tulsa did not break any record high temperatures this month and still recorded the hottest March on record!
  • Tulsa: March 2012 was 61.5°F, which is 10.2°F above normal. This is also warmer than 60% of all Aprils on record (records began in 1905)!  The previous record was 61.3°F in 1910 (records began in 1905).
  • Fort Smith: March 2012 was 63.6°F, which is 10.7°F above normal. This is also warmer than 76% of all Aprils on record (records began in 1883)!  The previous record was 62.6°F in 1907 (records began in 1905).
  • McAlester: March 2012 was the RECORD warmest March since records began in 1954 (with 2 years missing).  March 2012 was 62.6°F, which is 9.4°F above normal.  The previous record was 60.9°F in 2007.
  • Fayetteville: March 2012 was the RECORD warmest March since records began in 1950.  March 2012 was 57.9°F, which is 9.8°F above normal.  The previous record was 56.2°F in 2007.
  • Bartlesville: March 2012 tied 1921 as the RECORD warmest March since records began in 1920 (with 3 years missing).  March 2012 was 59.1°F, which is 10.3°F above normal. 
  • Rainfall totals for March 2012 ranged from 3”-12” across eastern OK and northwest AR, with a large portion of eastern OK and west central AR receiving 5”-9” of rain this month. The only area that reported below normal rainfall this month was Washington County AR, where the rainfall total was 75%-90% of normal for March. The remainder of the region had near or above normal rainfall this month, with much of the area getting 150%-300% of the normal March rainfall.
  • A widespread heavy rain and flood event affected eastern OK and northwest AR March 19-22. Widespread rainfall totals of 3”-5” affected a large portion of eastern OK and western AR from March 19-20. The highest totals of 6" to 8" affected most of Mayes County and portions of Ottawa, Delaware, Rogers, Wagoner, Cherokee, Muskogee, McIntosh, Pushmataha, and Choctaw Counties. This amount of rain led to widespread flash flooding and many street closures (including state highways). Moderate to Minor river flooding also occurred due to all of the rain. Interestingly, the highest rainfall totals occurred over the Grand Neosho River Basin, including the Grand, Hudson, and Ft. Gibson Lakes. These lakes rose 7-18 feet due to the heavy rain and run-off, and greatly helped to reduce the flooding impact over this area. If the rain had occurred just 20 miles further south, significant flooding would have likely occurred along the Illinois River. With an additional 0.25"-1.75" of rain falling March 21-22, the highest storm total rainfall was 6" to 9", with localized higher amounts
  • Four river forecast points exceeded moderate flood stage this month, and five river forecast points reached minor flood stage.  See the detailed report for more information.
  • According to the Drought Monitor from from March 27, 2012, abnormally Dry (D0) conditions affected portions of Osage and Pawnee Counties. These abnormally dry conditions are a result of long-term indicators, including lake levels at Birch and Skiatook Lakes. There was a significant improvement in the drought conditions this month due to the heavy rain from March 19-22, combined with the rainfall totals over the last few months.
  • According to the Oklahoma Climatological Survey (OCS) for March 2012, northeast OK ranked as the 9th wettest, east central OK ranked as the 12th wettest, and southeast OK ranked as the 8th wettest March since records began in 1921. 
Outlook
  • The Climate Prediction Center CPC outlook for for April 2012 (issued March 31, 2012) indicates an enhanced chance for above normal temperatures and equal chances for above, near, and below median precipitation for the entire area. This outlook was based primarily on short-term dynamic computer models with La Niña impacts considered.
  • For the 3-month period April-May-June 2012, CPC is a slightly enhanced chance for above average temperatures across southeast OK and northwest AR, with equal chances for above, near, and below normal temperatures elsewhere. This outlook also indicates equal chances for above, near, and below median precipitation across the region (outlook issued March 15, 2012). This outlook is based primarily on dynamic computer models.
  • According to CPC, La Niña continued to weaken at the end of March. La Niña conditions in the tropical Pacific are likely to transition to ENSO-neutral by the end of April, though atmospheric and soil moisture impacts may linger a little longer.         
 

 

 


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