...Northern and eastern Maine monthly climate narrative...
***Coldest March on record at Caribou and tied for coldest march on
record at Bangor***
March 2014 finished as a record cold month in many areas with well
above normal snowfall, especially across northern maine.
The average temperature at Caribou of 15.1 degrees was 9.4 degrees
below the 1981-2010 average temperature. It was the coldest
March on record at Caribou, and beat out 1939 by 2 tenths of a
There were a total of 14 nights when the low temperature dropped
below zero, which tied with 1939 for the most nights with a
temperature below zero at Caribou during the month of March. For
the winter season there were a total of 55 nights with a low below
zero, the most since the winter of 2002-03.
There was a total of 42.1 inches of snow at Caribou, which was 23.8
inches above normal. It ranked as the 3rd snowiest March on record
behind only 2008 and 1955. 1955 still holds the top honors with
47.1 inches of snow. This past March continued a recent trend of
40+ inch snowfall months. Since 1939 there have only been 18 months
with a total above 40 inches with 8 of them having occurred since
the year 2000.
For the 2013-14 winter season a total of 141.5 inches of snow has
been observed, which is 41 inches above normal. This winter now
ranks as the 8th snowiest on record.
At Bangor, the average temperature of 22.7 degrees was 7.5 degrees
below average. It tied with 1939 as the coldest march on record.
There were a total of 6 nights with a low temperature below
zero, which was the most during the month of march since 1948. The
low temperature of zero on the 25th was the latest date on record
for the temperature to drop to zero at Bangor. The old record was
march 20, 1993.
As far as snowfall goes, Bangor ended up with 15.7 inches of
snow, which was 4 inches above normal. There was continuous
snowpack on the ground all March, which has not happened at Bangor
since 1994. For the 2013-14 winter season a total of 78.9 inches of
snow has been observed, which is 16 inches above normal.
The month began with a snow pack which ranged from 6 to 12 inches
Downeast, and mostly from 18 to 30 inches across northern maine,
With local amounts in excess of 3 feet across the north Maine
woods. The snow pack increased across northern Maine, and by the
end of the month ranged from 2 1/2 to 4 feet across northern maine
and dropped off across downeast maine with amounts ranging from an
inch or less up to 3 inches along the immediate coast and from 1/2
foot to 2 feet inland.
The most widespread snowfall occurred on March 12-13, 2014 with
widespread totals in excess of a foot across northern and central
maine into parts of interior downeast maine. Amounts dropped off to
3 to 6 inches along the coast. Another storm on the 20th produced
from 8 to 12 inches of snow across much of northern and central
maine. A blizzard on the 26th into the 27th affected mainly
Washington and coastal Hancock counties. A winter storm on the
30th produced from 4 to 12 inches of snow across northern and
central maine. Another event on the 31st produced up to 8 inches of
snow in parts of Washington county with one to two inches of sleet
in parts of washington and hancock counties.
The average wind speed at Caribou was 8.8 mph and at Bangor was 9
mph, which made it by far the windiest month this winter. The peak
wind speed for the month at Caribou was 43 mph on the 27th. The peak
wind speed at Bangor this past March was 53 mph on the 26th.
The outlook from the climate prediction center indicates an
increased likelihood of below normal temperatures across western
Maine, and no strong climate signals that would point toward an
unusually cold or warm april across eastern Maine. There are no
strong climate signals that would tilt the odds towards an unusually
cold or mild April. Daylight increases steadily with over an hour
and a half gain in daylight during the month of April.
image courtesy of the Northeast Regional Climate Center