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Recap of March 2017 for the NWS Hastings Coverage Area: 
Precipitation: More than anything else, the month will be most remembered for being very dry through the first 3+ weeks, before some VERY much-needed rain finally arrived during the final 5-10 days. For the month as a whole, most of the 30-county area fell solidly short of normal precipitation, but even so, most places ended up receiving at least 60% of normal March values. However, a pocket of central and eastern counties in South Central Nebraska (including Grand Island) received less than half of normal March precipitation. On the flip side, localized portions of both the extreme northern local area (such as Ord) and also the extreme south (such as Beloit and Plainville KS) ended up with near-to-slightly above normal totals. Continuing a trend from previous months, most of the local area saw very little if any snowfall. In fact, as of the end of March, Grand Island had received merely 8.9" for the entire cold season, marking the 3rd-least snowy season on record!

Temperatures: While far from record territory, most of the area averaged 2-4° above normal for the month as a whole. There were not really any prolonged streaks of notable heat or cold, but instead typical alternating periods of warmer and cooler readings.

Several Grassfires: Prior to the arrival of the late-month rains, very dry and warm/breezy conditions early in the month set the stage for several grassfires across various parts of the area. The 6th featured one of the most serious grassfire days seen in roughly 5 years, as very low relative humidity combined with very strong westerly winds gusting 50-60 MPH to spark a number of wildfires, including a particularly large and longer-lasting one near Stockton KS.

First Severe Storms: The evening of the 23rd featured the first severe thunderstorms of 2017 within the local area, highlighted by a swath of damaging winds up to 60-70 MPH that raked across counties such as Furnas/Phelps/Buffalo/Hall/Hamilton, among some others.

This information in this story focuses on climate and weather highlights across the NWS Hastings coverage area, encompassing 24 counties in south central/central Nebraska, and 6 counties in north central Kansas. Click here for a map of this coverage area. The temperature and precipitation data presented here are largely based on the NWS Cooperative Observer network, along with data from a handful of automated airport sites. All climate averages and "normals" presented here are based on the official NCEI 1981-2010 normals.

2017 Nebraska Cooperative Observer Precipitation Tables (around 45 sites)
2017 Kansas Cooperative Observer Precipitation Tables (around 18 sites)
(for the 2017 tables, data for the previous month usually gets updated by around the 15th of the current month)

2016 Nebraska Cooperative Observer Precipitation Tables (around 45 sites)
2016 Kansas Cooperative Observer Precipitation Tables (around 18 sites)


This graphic features a precipitation map for March 2017, along with a partial listing of totals from official NWS stations. (Click image to enlarge)
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