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March 2016

  • Tulsa: March 2016 was the 12th warmest (56.5°F; since 1905) and the 62nd wettest (2.86"; since 1888) March on record. No snow fell in March 2016 (2011 was the last time there was no February snowfall).
  • Tulsa: No daily records were set or tied this month.
  • Using the radar-derived estimated observed precipitation from the RFCs, rainfall totals for March 2016 ranged from 1” to around 8”. Most of eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas received 2”-5” of rain this month. This corresponds to 25%-90% of the normal March rain northwest of a McAlester to Fayetteville line. Southwest of this line, most of southeast OK and west central AR received 110% to near 200% of the normal March rain.
  • Despite several rounds of storms, much of eastern OK and northwest AR ending March 2016 with below normal rainfall. Several tornadoes also occurred this month, and one river forecast point exceeded flood stage. The average temperature for March 2016 was well above normal across the area.
  • According to the Drought Monitor from March 29, 2016, there were no drought conditions present in eastern OK and northwest AR. However, abnormally dry conditions were present across portions of Creek, Pawnee, Osage, Tulsa, Washington, Nowata, Rogers, Craig, Ottawa, Mayes, Delaware, Adair, Cherokee, Muskogee, Wagoner, and Sequoyah Counties in Oklahoma and Crawford, Washington, Benton, Carroll, Madison, and Franklin Counties in Arkansas.
  • According to the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, March 2016 was the 44th driest for northeast Oklahoma, the 39th wettest for east central Oklahoma, and the 12th wettest for southeast Oklahoma. Records go back to 1921.  For the Year-to-Date period Jan. 1-Mar. 31, 2016,  northeast Oklahoma ranked as the 17th driest, east central Oklahoma was the 24th driest, and southeast Oklahoma was the 43rd driest period.
  • The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) outlook for April 2016 (issued March 31, 2016) indicates an enhanced chance of above normal temperatures across all of eastern OK and northwest AR. This outlook also calls for equal chances for above, near, and below median precipitation across eastern OK and northwest AR. This outlook is based on both short- and extended-range weather forecasts, considerations from the ongoing strong El Niño, Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) activity, and recent soil moisture conditions.
  • For the 3-month period April-May-June 2016, CPC is forecasting an equal chance for above, near, and below normal temperatures and a slightly enhanced chance for above median precipitation across all of eastern OK and northwest AR (outlook issued March 17, 2016). This outlook is based primarily on both statistical and dynamical forecast tools, with a reliance on typical circulation response to El Niño conditions. The chance of developing La Niña conditions exceeds 50% beginning in Autumn 2016.
  • According to CPC, strong El Niño conditions remain in place, but the El Niño peaked in late 2015. The 2015-16 El Niño is one of the strongest on record. This event is still expected to transition to neutral conditions during the late spring or early summer 2016. An El Niño Advisory is in effect.