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A Tale of Two Seasons | Weather

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A Tale of Two Seasons

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- What a difference a year makes as March 2013 will be remembered for being cooler than average in the Nation's Capital. 

That's in stark contrast to March 2012, which was 10 degrees warmer than normal. This March also saw more snowfall than in any month since early 2011 and this colder than normal weather also had other repercussions.

Many will recall that March 2012 was a balmy month in the Mid-Atlantic Region, with four days of temperatures in the 80s. Such unusual warmth, more characteristic of June, helped the cherry blossoms reach their peak bloom along the Tidal Basin by mid-month. 

In contrast, the warmest temperature this March was just 63 degrees at National Airport on the 10th. Consequently, the cherry blossoms did not reach their peak bloom until just this week.

The National Weather Service pointed out there has been an on-going snow drought in the Mid-Atlantic Region. The last time an inch of snow fell in the Nation's Capital occurred more than two years ago on January 26, 2011. 

So, many thought by the time March arrived, that it would be another long spring and fall to wait before the prospect for snow returned. This is why the inch of snow that fell a few weeks ago on March 25 was such a surprise. The snow wasn't around long given the high March sun angle, but it was symbolic of the colder than average weather March 2013 featured.

Allergy sufferers didn't mind the month being 3 degrees below average as that meant their symptoms didn't begin as early as they did last year. 

The entire Mid-Atlantic Region, and most of the Eastern United States, saw cooler than average weather for the month of March. 

Meteorologist Greg Carbin of the U.S. Storm Prediction Center commenting on the cooler than average weather said,"This obstinate mass of warm air over Greenland has redirected air currents like a rock in a stream." 

That, in turn, led to a reduction in the number of tornadoes across the United States. Scientists estimate that less than two dozen tornadoes occurred nationwide last month, compared to 154 tornadoes in March 2012.

The weather this week couldn't be more different than what Washingtonians experienced last month, as highs in the 80s helped put the cool March weather in the rear view mirror. 

The WUSA 9 team of meteorologists will keep viewers apprised of the latest weather developments both on-air and online at wusa9.com.


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