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Arctic Air Plunges into the Great Lakes, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic

Arctic air dropping through the northern and eastern U.S. and a storm off the east coast will bring periods of snow, very cold wind chills and hazardous traveling conditions from the Upper Great Lakes to the Northeast. Meanwhile in southern California, Santa Ana winds will decrease but hot, dry air will remain over the area with elevated fire weather conditions. Read More >

The Geminid Meteor Shower peaks tonight (Wednesday night) from 10 pm until 4 am. With clear skies and a non-bright moon phase, it will be a great night to view the shower. Make sure to dress appropriately as temperatures will be falling into the 30s overnight.
Another cold front will move into the region this evening and overnight. This front will result in a north wind shift, but gusty winds are not expected until Thursday. Low temperatures tonight and Thursday morning will be in the 30s for most locations.

 
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March 2011 Review

 

The warm weather during the latter half of February continued largely unabated during March.  At DFW Airport, there were 19 days during the month with highs in the 70s or 80s.  Waco reached a record high of 94°F on March 26, Waco's first 90-degree day of the year.  Despite an unseasonably cool conclusion to the month, there were only a handful of below normal days in March.  Both DFW and Waco ended the month 4 degrees above normal. 

 

 DFW Temps - March 2011          Waco Temps - March 2011

 

Some areas east of I-35 picked up a half-inch or more of rainfall during March, but many areas saw little or no measurable precipitation the entire month.  The image below shows estimated precipitation for the month of March.

 

March 2011 Precipitation

March 2011 Precipitation

 

For both DFW and Waco, March 2011 ranks among the driest on record.  It was the driest March since 1925 in Dallas/Fort Worth and the driest since 1972 at Waco.

Dallas/Fort Worth
Lowest Precipitation Totals
for March
Rank Precipitation Year
1 0.02 1925
2 0.07 2011
3 0.10 1972
4 0.11 1956
5 0.32 1899
6 0.34 1971
7 0.40 1940
8 0.41 1909
9 0.48 1963
10
(tie)
0.63 1936
0.63 1932
Waco
Lowest Precipitation Totals
for March
Rank Precipitation Year
1 T 1925
2 0.04 1956
3 0.09 1972
4 0.15 2011
5 0.16 1950
6 0.22 1959
7 0.28 1916
8 0.37 1940
9 0.43 1986
10 0.61 1974

 

March 2011 Precipitation
Location Precipitation Normal Departure
DFW Airport 0.07 3.06 -2.99
Waco 0.15 2.48 -2.33
Dallas Love Field 0.28 3.13 -2.85
Fort Worth Meacham 0.09    
Dallas Executive 0.04    
Fort Worth Alliance 0.10    
Arlington 0.01 3.18 -3.17
Denton 0.12 2.82 -2.70
McKinney 0.26 3.37 -3.11
Terrell 0.76 3.30 -2.54
Corsicana 0.08 3.34 -3.26
Mineral Wells 0.05 2.69 -2.64

 

6-Month Precipitation (October 1, 2010 - March 31, 2011)
Location Precipitation Normal Departure % of Normal
DFW Airport 7.30 16.58 -9.28 44
Waco 8.48 15.85 -7.37 54
Dallas Love Field 8.39 17.12 -8.73 49
Fort Worth Meacham 6.15      
Dallas Executive 7.50      
Fort Worth Alliance 6.59      
Arlington 8.42 17.75 -9.33 47
Denton 6.92 17.65 -10.73 39
McKinney 9.67 19.90 -10.23 49
Terrell 12.58 21.32 -8,74 59
Corsicana 11.29 20.17 -8.88 56
Mineral Wells 3.52 13.81 -10.29 25

 

 

 

Precipitation deficits have been mounting since Tropical Storm Hermine in September.  Much of North Texas has received less than half of normal precipitation during the last six months.  Mineral Wells' 3.52" is only 25% of normal.

 

The image below shows estimated precipitation deficits since October 1, 2010.  Much of North and Central Texas are more than 8 inches below normal with 6-month deficits over 12 inches in portions of East Texas.

6-Month Precipitation Deficits (October 2010 - March 2011)

6-Month Precipitation Deficits (October 2010 - March 2011)

 

 

Drought continues to intensify across the region.  For the first time in 2 years, the entire state of Texas is classified as at least abnormally dry.  Almost 95% of the state has some drought classification.  The extent of extreme drought statewide has not been matched since 2006.

For more information about the ongoing drought across North Texas, see our Drought Information Statement.

 

 

 U.S. Drought Monitor - March 29, 2011