By MARK HANOK
Temperatures were near normal in March, with precipitation around an inch below normal.
There were 24 sunny or partly sunny days this month.
Once again last week we got an example of how the more unusual the weather pattern across the nation and the more storms to the south and west, the better the weather in Otsego County.
The first week of April will feature some quick changes as one low pressure system after another moves across the nation. On Friday as a storm system tracks eastward to Lake Ontario, we’ll be on the mild side of the storm, with occasional rain and highs from 55 to 60 degrees. As a northwest flow of cooler air takes over on Saturday, a few showers in the morning will give way to intervals of clouds and sunshine and highs around 50 degrees.
Milder air will move in on Sunday, on a southwest flow ahead of a low in the Ohio Valley; with partly sunny skies, high temperatures will be in the mid- 50s.
An upper-level trough over western New York will bring occasional shower on Monday morning then some partial sunshine in the afternoon; highs in the low 50s.
With colder air aloft, we’ll see variable cloudiness and breaks of sunshie on Tuesday, and a few showers; highs around 45 to 50 degrees.
On Saturday, severe thunderstorms and several tornadoes ripped across the Deep South, and this was a key indicator for dry, sunny weather in Otsego County.
Although most local weather forecasts called for showers, skies were partly to mostly sunny with highs in the upper 60s.
After occasional showers on Sunday, classic March weather finally returned to the Cooperstown area on Monday, as a major storm system moved northeastward to the Canadian Maritimes, a colder northwest flow took over, and during the early morning wet snow amounted to 1 to 3 inches over higher elevations with only snow showers at valley locations. Skies were overcast with typical upslope stratocumulus clouds through the day, a northwest wind 15 to 30 MPH, and highs only in the upper 30s.
Thanks to a downsloping northwest wind, skies were partly sunny in the lower Hudson Valley with highs around 50 degrees. On Tuesday March ended with a spectacular early spring day, with a northerly flow of cool, dry air, around high pressure centered over Quebec. Stratocumulus clouds in the morning gave way to mostly sunny skies in the afternoon, with highs in the low 50’s. A powerful storm system tracked eastward to Minnesota, and heavy snow continued in North Dakota, where highs were only in the upper 20’s, preventing melting that would add to already record-breaking levels of the Red River that crested at 41 feet just a few days earlier.
Severe thunderstorms covered a wide area along the Gulf coast, with flooding rains from Louisiana to Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.
Mark Hanok is an Otego based meteorologist.