Western Regional Climate Center


March in the West

Overall, it was a fairly quiet month for the west with unremarkable temperature and precipitation anomalies.

Temperatures were near normal for the west except for parts of Montana where some locations were 6-8 degrees above the March normal. Great Falls, MT, recorded their warmest March in 24 years. Most of the Southwest was slightly below normal while the Northwest was slightly above.

Precipitation was mostly below normal throughout the region except for eastern New Mexico and isolated pockets of the intermountain region. Clayton, NM, recorded their second wettest March on record going back 100 years.

Mountain snowpack on April 1st was below normal throughout the region except for Arizona, New Mexico and southern Utah. Locations in Pacific Northwest and the northern Intermountain region were as low as 55% to 70% of normal.

Significant Events for March 2010

March 29-30: Strong Winds: A powerful front swept through the entire west with some heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada and rather strong winds in almost every western state causing blowing dust and numerous reports of trucks being blown over. Interstate 90 in near Livingston, MT, was closed early on the 29th after reports of tractor-trailers flipping from 71 mph wind gusts. Another truck flipped on U.S 395 near Olancha, CA, in the Owens Valley due to powerful winds on the 30th and twelve overhead transmission towers were lost just south of Olancha near Haiwee Lake.

March 2010 Departure from Normal Temperature and Percent of Normal Precipitation for Western United States

Departure from normal temperature Departure from normal precipitation

© Western Regional Climate Center