March was less snowy than normal and a little warmer than normal

Lake Erie
Lake Erie(Meteorologist Kelly Dobeck)
Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 5:31 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The headline says it all, and it may not be the news you were expecting.

After all, March in northern Ohio is, traditionally, pretty chilly; an extension of Winter after Spring has already begun.

Cleveland averages about 10.8 inches of snow in the month of March, but this March only brought 2.5 inches.

The snowiest day over the course of March 2022 was the 27th when just 0.7 inches fell at Cleveland Hopkins.

Akron, however, reported 6.6 inches of snow in March, which is an inch over what is considered “normal” for that time of the year.

March 11th was Akron’s snowiest day with 2.5 inches of snow.

March was also wetter-than-normal with 5.16 inches of precipitation in the Akron area.

Of course, the snow did contribute to that, but it also rained in March.

In Cleveland, 3.34 inches of precipitation (snow equivalent and rain) fell in March, which is around a quarter of an inch above normal.

Living in this part of the world, with frequent Spring lake breezes and late-Winter Alberta clippers, we generally expect Old Man Winter to stick around for a while.

We’re no strangers to cold weather in March; we experience it, we document it, and we often complain about it.

But if March 2022 felt cold to you, you’ll be surprised to learn that it was actually a touch warmer-than-normal in Cleveland.

The average temperature in March was 41.7 degrees, which is 2.8 degrees above normal.

Despite experiencing above-normal snow in March, Akron was also warmer-than-normal.

The average temperature in March was 42.9 degrees, and that’s four inches above what’s expected, climatologically speaking, for that time of the year.

March is a transitional month for us, as colder spells and snow days are often interrupted by a day or two of warm southerly winds and rain showers.

March is also the beginning of our Spring severe weather season, especially late-March.

However, both Cleveland and Akron only reported thunder on two out of 31 days in March.

Those instances of thunder, lightning, and liquid precipitation will only become more frequent as we enter April and May.

We all know that Lake Erie plays a significant role in our local weather.

From (seemingly ever-present) lake effect cloud cover and precipitation to Spring and Summer lake breezes, Lake Erie seems to constantly find her way into conversation.

March brought significant changes to Lake Erie’s ice coverage.

Lake Erie ice coverage
Lake Erie ice coverage(NOAA)

On the above map, I’ve highlighted (albeit in a rudimentary manner) the drastic drop in Lake Erie’s ice coverage at the beginning of the month.

This mirrors nicely alongside three warmer-than-average days Cleveland experienced from March 5th through the 7th.

The high temperature on the 5th and 6th was in the low 70s.

Ice coverage did increase in the days to follow as overnight lows dipped below the freezing mark, but, as expected this time of the year, the lake experienced a steady melting process through the end of March.

On this first day of April, there’s hardly any ice on the lake, and despite the wintry mix slowly falling outside, the 19 First Alert Weather Team will consider that a harbinger of Spring.

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