March “Heat Wave”

posted in: Michigan Weather Forecast, Slim | 13

With the colder then average March we are having this year lets look back at a March that was much above average.


We generally do not think of the term “Heat Wave” when we think of the Month of March but in March of 2012 we had a very remarkable warm event take place. This was not a one or two day “warm” spell that we sometimes get in March but instead lasted for (at Grand Rapids) for 12 days. It started in earnest on March 14th when Grand Rapids had a high of 80° and for the next 12 days we had temps that would be more like June then March. Reaching a peak on March 21st with a high of 87° In all in that 12-day stretch Grand Rapids had 5 days of 80 or warmer 5 days of 71 or warmer and 2 days in the 60’s
New All-Time Record High Temperatures for March

City New Record High (Date) Old Record High (Date)
Detroit, Mich. 86 (3/22) 82 (3/28/1945)
Lansing, Mich. 86 (3/21) 82 (3/24/1910)
Toledo, Ohio 85 (3/21, 3/22) 83 (3/24/1910)
Bangor, Maine 84 (3/22) 79 (3/29/1946)
Milwaukee, Wis. 84 (3/21) 82 (3/29/1986, 3/31/1986)
Cleveland, Ohio 83 (3/20-3/22) – tie 83 (3/24/1910, 3/25/1945)
Madison, Wis. 83 (3/21) 82 (3/29/1986, 3/31/1981)
Buffalo, N.Y. 82 (3/21) 81 (3/26/1945)
London, Ontario 81 (3/22) 77 (3/30/1998)
Marquette, Mich. 81 (3/21) 71 (3/8/2000)
Ottawa, Ontario 81 (3/21) 80 (3/29/1946)
International Falls, Minn. 79 (3/18) 73 (3/31/1963)
Toronto, Ontario 79 (3/22) 78 (3/28/1945)
Montreal, Quebec 78 (3/21) – tie 78 (3/28/1945)
Caribou, Maine 75 (3/21) 73 (3/30/1962)
Winnipeg, Manitoba 75 (3/19) 74 (3/27/1946)
Quebec City, Quebec 65 (3/21) 64 (3/30/1962)

The ‘Heat Wave’ of March 2012, By the Numbers

32 The gap, in degrees, between the old and new record high on March 21 in Marquette, Mich. The new record high was 81 degrees, obliterating the old record of 49 degrees. The margin of defeat was so great that the 21.2 The temperature departure (in degrees Fahrenheit) from normal for the month of March thus far in Winnipeg, Canada. This occurred despite temperatures having dropped below zero for four days early in the month.
1921 The last year it was above 80 degrees in Boston before March 28 of any given calendar year. In reaching 83 degrees on March 22, this came to fruition for the first time since March 21, 1921.
86 The new all-time record high temperature for March in Detroit, Mich., set on March 22. In fact, a new all-time high temperature was set two days in a row, with the mercury first climbing to 84 degrees on March 21.
60 The average low temperature in Chicago, Ill., from March 17 to March 22 of this year. Such low temperatures, about 30 degrees above normal, are more typical for mid-June.
e low temperature that day was even higher than the old record high temperature
9 The number of consecutive days that Chicago, Ill., has broken a record high, from March 14 to March 22. Eight of those days saw the mercury climb above 80 degrees, which is normal for mid-June.
93 The temperature swing that occurred over the course of just nine days in International Falls, Minn., from a low of minus 14 degrees on March 9, to a high of 79 degrees on March 18. Also, 10 straight days of new record highs (March 13 to March 22).
26 The number of inches of snow that melted over the course of just seven days in Caribou, Maine, from March 15 to March 22, thanks to the unusual warmth. Also, 18 inches of snow was still on the ground when the first record high fell on March 18 (64 degrees).
In Detroit, the mid-March heat wave was enough to vault the month to the top of the list of warmest Marches on record. Not only that, but the records for the most consecutive March days with highs above 60, 70, and 80 degrees were also set.
Of course there was a price for crops to pay as April 2012 ended up close to average and there was a hard freeze on April 29th when the temp fell to 28° causing a lot of damage to crops that year.

Grand Rapids is in record territory. The last time it reached 60 or better at Grand Rapids was back on October 14, 2018. That puts GR in 3rd place for the longest time between days that did not reach 60 or better. The longest was 183 days from October 13, 1925 to April 13, 1926 in 2nd place is 178 days from October 13 1969 to April 8, 1970 and this year so far we are now at 161 days and counting.. Note the earliest last 60 or better dates are October 13 1925 and 1969 and last year it was October 14 the 2nd earliest. On the warmest maximum contest for this March. Here are the temperature guesses. Rocky 49.4, Indy 57, Mark 59, MV 62, Mookie 62, Andy 65, Sandy 69, SS 70, Barry 71, Sarah 72 and my guess is 64. The warmest so far this March at Grand Rapids is 59° At Lansing it is 62 and at Muskegon it is 61. So with a week and a day to go the winner so far is Mark for Grand Rapids, Mookie would win for Lansing. We will see how the next week goes. This March will end up below average temp wise the question now is by how much.

Slim

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Mookie
Mookie
Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

The ever popular 3 to 4 week outlook? If that forecast actually verifies I may be golfing instead of skiing? Incredible!

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

The sun is nice, however this will go down as another below normal temp March day! We are clearly entrenched in a cool weather pattern!

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

I see the latest cpc is zeroing in on a colder than norlmal start to April! Who would have thought?

Barry in Zeeland
Barry in Zeeland

Nice stats Slim! That was an unbelievable March. The first and probably only time we actually got our Seadoo out and rode it on my dads lake in the month of March.
For all the clamoring from those that still think it’s Winter out, today is just another gorgeous early Spring day outside. Some people seem to stuck under a dark cloud, but yet another bright and clear day today with temps in the 40s. Perfect outdoor working weather!

*SS*
*SS*

Our family actually joked if we would need to get out the slip and slide like we did that year. That year was awful for the apple farmers since it warmed up and then dropped back down in April. Their crops were hit hard!

Mookie
Mookie

Gorgeous spring day! And look at that forecast! 5 days out of the next 8 between 46 and 58 degrees.

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Thankfully no heat wave this March, in fact GR may not even hit 60 degrees this month! Incredible!

INDY
INDY

How many days now since October 14th lol! INDY!

INDY
INDY

Slim i’m thinking you can cross out the 70*s picks thats not going to happen eather! I’m loving the sunshine today it makes my cold low of 16* degrees early this morning out at the YARDOFBRICKS NE GR feel warm crazzy how we are still flirting with January lows at the end of March…Have a wonderful Saturday MV’S best Go Blue!! INDY!!

Sandy (Hudsonville)
Sandy (Hudsonville)

Great post Slim. Beautiful sunrise this morning. 🙂 It is a bit chilly out there.

MichaelV

Thanks Slim – Sadly I am not seeing any 80* temps for the rest of the month, we may be hard pressed to get to 60 though we did have one day where we got to 61 here in Otsego on March 14. On a positive note we can go nowhere but upwards, snow removal will become a thing of the past and lawn care is next up on the agenda. Thanks again to William and Sherry for their donations through Go Fund Me – We have raised $120 through Go Fund Me so far to help keep this site… Read more »