National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

...Northern and eastern Maine March 2013 monthly climate summary...


March 2013 got off to a very mild start.  Every day during the first

two weeks of the month featured above normal temperatures at both

Caribou and Bangor. In fact, the first two weeks of the month were

the warmest start on record to the month of March at Caribou.  At

Bangor it ranked as the 6th warmest start to the month on record. 

Temperatures turned sharply colder mid month with a low of zero at

Caribou on the morning of the 18th and 7 above at Bangor on the

morning of the 22nd.  The warm start to the month all but assured

above normal temperatures for the month as a whole.  By the end of

the month, average temperatures ranged from 2 to 5 degrees above

normal, with a few pockets of 5 to 8 degrees above normal across

northern Maine. Caribou ended the month with an average temperature

Of 29.8 degrees, which was 5.3 degrees above normal.  It was the

5th warmest March during the past 30 years.  At Bangor, the average

temperature of 32.4 degrees was 2.2 degrees above normal.


Although March was unusually warm, it did not feature the record

warmth of 2012 that sent temperatures into the 80s at Bangor on the

21st and 22nd, setting back to back all-time monthly high

records.  Caribou observed 3 consecutive days in the 70s in 2012 and

set an all-time monthly record high of 75 degrees on the 21st.  The

monthly high temperature during March 2013 was only 50 degrees on

the 31st at Caribou and 55 degrees at Bangor on the 29th. 


The biggest weather events this past march were a blizzard that

began on the last day of February and ended early on the morning of

the 1st.  A heavy rain event on March 12-13 that produced 1 to 3

inches of rain in Washington county and caused culvert flooding and

washouts countywide.  A snow storm on March 19-20 produced

widespread 8 to 16 inches of snow across the area with a bit less

along the immediate coast, and up to 18 inches in the Houlton area.


As is usually the case precipitation was much more variable than

temperature. March 2013 was relatively dry in many areas, but  

parts of coastal Washington county received over 3 inches of rain

from the heavy rain event on March 12-13...and ended the month with

125 percent of normal precipitation.  Caribou and Bangor observed 69

and 61 percent respectively of their normal precipitation.  A total

of 15.2 inches of snow was observed at Caribou, which was 3.1

inches below normal.  At Bangor, the total of 13.7 inches of snow

was 2 inches above normal. 


The month began with 22 inches of snow on the ground at

Caribou, but the snow melted and compressed to only 4 inches by mid

month due to the record warm start to the month.  By the end of the

month the snow depth had decreased to only a trace.  At Bangor, the

month began with 4 inches of snow on the ground and ended with

zero.  The snow depth peaked at 10 inches on the 20th-21st.  At the

end of the month there was still a significant snow pack with snow

depths of 1 to 2 feet in the north Maine woods.


Break up was for the most part very gentle this March as there was

no extremely warm weather, and temperatures fell below freezing on

most nights.  Mild temperatures and heavy rainfall in Washington

County on March 12-13 caused some ice movement on the Piscataquis

River and Kingsbury Stream...but there were no reports received this

past March of any significant flooding.


Although April is expected to start on a cold note this week the

official outlook for April from the Climate Prediction Center

calls for an increased chance of above normal temperatures. There

are no strong climate signals that tilt the odds in favor of

either an unusually dry or wet April. At Caribou (Bangor) the

average high temperature on the 1st is 40 degrees (46) and by the

end of the month rises to 56 degrees (59). The average lows warm

from 23 to 36 degrees at Caribou and from 27 to 37 degrees at

Bangor. Average precipitation at Caribou is 2.66 inches which

includes 7.4 inches of snow...and 3.62 inches including 3.7 inches

of snow at Bangor.