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Recap of March 2018 Weather for the 30-county NWS Hastings Coverage Area: 

March 2018 Precipitation

- Precipitation: Although it was not "bone dry" (most places received at least 0.75-1.25" thanks mainly to a few modest rain events), nearly the entire 30-county area still saw solidly below-normal precipitation for the month, with most places receiving no more than 50-75% of the March normal. For a handful of official NWS stations, including Smith Center KS, March was actually the SIXTH-CONSECUTIVE month with below normal precipitation! Per dozens of NWS/CoCoRaHS observers, a few of the very lowest March totals featured: 0.31" at Cozad, 0.34" in Gothenburg, 0.41" at Loup City and 0.46" near Rockville. On the wetter side of things, a few of the highest totals included: 1.95" at Osceola, 1.87" at Wilcox, 1.80" near Gresham and 1.77" near Shelby. For most areas, the majority of March precipitation fell in the form of rain and not snow. 

- Snowfall/Winter Precipitation: For the majority of the 30-county area, March featured below normal snowfall, with most places reporting no more than 1-2" for the entire month. The only halfway widespread snow "event" occurred on the morning of the 19th, when several western counties received a slushy 2-4" as rain turned to snow, along with locally higher amounts, including 5" at Holdrege and 5.5" southwest of Lexington. Per official NWS observers, some of the highest monthly March totals featured: 6.0" at Holdrege, 4.0" at Minden and Canaday Steam Plant (6SSE Lexington), and 3.2" eight miles south of Elwood. 

Temperatures: March was actually a pretty "uneventful" month temperature-wise, as there were no notable/long-lasting stretches of pronounced warmth or cold, but instead several small "streaks" of mainly slightly above or below normal readings. As a result, at most official NWS stations, the month as a whole averaged well within +/- 2º of normal. Taking a bit closer look, for most places the overall-warmest brief stretch of the month occurred early on, between the 2nd-4th. This was followed shortly thereafter by the overall-coldest brief stretch of the month, which mainly focused between the 6th-8th. As for monthly extremes per official NWS observers, the warmest highs in the entire coverage area occurred mainly on the 3rd or 4th, including: 81º near Plainville and Alton KS, 80º at Webster Dam KS, and 79º at Smith Center KS and Beaver City. On the cold side of extremes, some of the most frigid March lows occurred on the 8th, featuring: 5º at Red Cloud, 7º near Alton KS, and 9º at various spots, including Ord airport, Superior and Hebron. 

Severe Thunderstorms/High Wind Events:  The evening of Friday the 23rd featured the first, fairly "minor" severe thunderstorm event of 2018 within the local area, as a few storms produced mainly marginally-severe hail and wind gusts near the state line, primarily within Furnas/Harlan/Phillips/Rooks counties. However, there was some isolated larger hail in north central KS, including golf ball size stones near Glade KS and ping pong ball size hail in Smith Center. A personal weather station in Logan KS measured a 66 MPH gust. 

As for non-thunderstorm high winds, the 5th-6th were likely the overall-windiest consecutive days of the 2017-18 winter season, blowing out of the northwest. On the 5th, gusts of 50-60 MPH were widespread, with a few of the highest gusts including 69 MPH at a personal weather station near Norman in Kearney County, and 61 MPH at Lexington airport. These strong winds promoted at least two fairly sizable wildfires during the afternoon, one in Furnas County and one in Smith County. Following a brief break in very strong winds during the evening, winds ramped up again during the early morning hours of the 6th (a somewhat unusual time of day for such strong winds!), with many places again gusting into at least the 50-60 MPH range, and a handful of higher gusts, including 62 MPH at Ord airport, 64 MPH at Hastings airport, 65 MPH at Grand Island airport, and an unofficial gust of 68 MPH near Norman in Kearney County. NWS Hastings received no reports of significant damage from these two days of strong winds. 

2018 Nebraska Cooperative Observer Precipitation Tables (around 45 sites)
2018 Kansas Cooperative Observer Precipitation Tables (around 18 sites)
(for the 2018 tables, data for the previous month usually gets updated by around the 15th of the current month)

2017 Nebraska Cooperative Observer Precipitation Tables (around 45 sites)
2017 Kansas Cooperative Observer Precipitation Tables (around 18 sites)

Archived Precipitation Tables And Monthly Climate Stories

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