Weather: March proves to be awe-inspiring
Wow. Rarely does the weather simply awe. This past week in the north woods, and across much of the central and eastern United States, the weather has been awe-inspiring. Nationwide more than 7,000 warm temperature records have been set or tied - just since March 12.
During the past week here in Bemidji record highs were set Saturday through Thursday with one exception - Wednesday's high of 54 fell 1 degree short of the record. And while it's one thing to set the highest temperature ever recorded on a given day, this week's highs were as much as 23 degrees warmer the previous record highs.
It hasn't cooled off much overnight either. Both Monday and Tuesday mornings featured low temperatures warmer than the record highs for those days. In fact it appears the temperature remained above the record high for approximately 60 hours - from noon Sunday to 11 p.m. Tuesday.
One year ago, much of the north woods were blanketed by 15 to 24 inches of snow cover. Quite a difference a year makes. Regionally, an even more dramatic swing in weather conditions occurred.
On March 4, Marquette, Mich., recorded 47 inches of snow on the ground. Seventeen days later the high temperature reached 81 in Marquette and the snow had been reduced to random piles.
There must be snow somewhere, right?
Eugene, Ore., recorded its third highest ever March snowfall earlier this week when 7 inches fell Wednesday. Up to 2 feet fell across the Cascade Mountains of Oregon, temporarily stranding an Amtrak's Coast Starlight train from Los Angeles to Seattle.
The forecast issued for the upcoming week by the National Weather service calls for cooler temperatures across the north woods. Look for highs averaging in the low 50s and overnight lows in the upper 30s. While those temperatures are much cooler than it has been recently, they are still approximately 15 degrees warmer than average.
TOM SIEMERS is the Pioneer's circulation director.