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July/August 2008

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Weatherwatch: March, April 2008

Afurious barrage of storms dumped heavy rain and snow in a band stretching more than 2,000 miles from central Texas into the Northeast, causing widespread flooding. Lowland flooding was most extensive from the mid-South into the lower Ohio Valley, especially in the wake of a tremendous storm that dropped more than a foot of rain on parts of the Missouri Bootheel and neighboring areas from the 17th-19th. In contrast, drier-than-normal conditions covered much of the remainder of the nation. Areas from California into the Southwest were especially dry. However, exceptions to the dry pattern included southern Florida and scattered locations from the Pacific Northwest into the northern and central Rockies. In Texas, there was a remarkable contrast between drought (in western and southern areas) and wetness (in central and northeastern locations). Elsewhere, generally drier-than-normal weather prevailed in the upper Midwest and from the central Gulf Coast region to the middle and southern Atlantic coast. However, late-month snow provided beneficial moisture in parts of the upper Midwest, while Southeastern rainfall was sufficient to stave off drought intensification.

Wintry conditions refused to let go from the upper Midwest into northern New England, where temperatures averaged at least 5°F below normal in many locations and deep snow still covered the ground at month’s end. In Caribou, Maine, March began and ended with a 30-inch snow cover, with the depth peaking at 36 inches on the 21st. Meanwhile, chilly conditions also prevailed across the Northwest and Intermountain West, especially during the mid- to late-month period. Cold air also surged into the Southeast, culminating in generally light freezes on the 25th-26th. In contrast, slightly warmer-than-normal conditions were most prevalent across the High Plains, the Southwest, Texas, and the mid-Atlantic coastal plain.

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