Does our near record dry March so far mean a wet summer for WNY?

Weather Blog

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — March this year in Rochester has been unusually uneventful in the weather department. Precipitation has been particularly hard to come by not only over the past several days, but even when it did rain or snow this month, it didn’t really add up to much. We found at least partial relief from today’s light rain, but there was only a measly .03″ recorded at the Rochester regional airport.

Through the course of the entire month, we received very tiny amounts of precipitation on the days that we did see some. The highest amount recorded in one day only added up to .08″ on the 11th. The total amount of precipitation recorded for the month so far (not including today) is .15″.

Even if you added the .03″ from today, it would still fall under the 3rd least amount of precipitation recorded for the month of March up to this point.

As far as snow goes, we’re also very much lacking this year with a total of 1.4″. That means we’re currently tied for the 4th least snowy March in Rochester on record.

Average total snowfall for Rochester in March is 16.3″. We’re currently sitting ~15″ below average.

Does a dry March mean a wet spring and summer?

With such a dry start to March it begs the question, will the future months to come bring a surplus of rain? When will we see a good downpour across the region? To test this, let’s take a look at the two years with the driest starts to March and their corresponding months from April to May, and then again through the summer months of June, July and August.

April & May 1969

1969 April to May accumulated precip

The amount of precipitation recorded from April to May in 1969 was 5.73″, the normal being 5.60″. Overall it was a generally average stretch.

April & May 1988

1988 April to May accumulated precip

In 1988, the amount of precipitation recorded was 4.05″, the normal being 5.60″. It was around an inch or so below average, but nothing crazy.

June through August 1969

1969 June to August accumulated precip

Looking forward into the summer months, the summer of 1969 accumulated 8.34″ of precipitation, the normal being 10.14″.

June through August 1988

1969 June to August accumulated precip

Summer of 1988 was also below average with 9.21″ of accumulation and 10.14″ being the average.

The reality is there is no direct correlation with dry Marches to wet Aprils, or really anything beyond that. At least based on the two driest March’s on record. If anything, the dry trend continued to stick around through much of the year after.

The rest of March this year doesn’t look like things will change all that much either. In fact, after today the forecast calls for even more dry and even sunny weather.

Get the latest forecast HERE.

Things are certainly able to change, and getting snow in April isn’t entirely impossible. With just under 2 weeks left of the month, we’ll have to see if we can get any significant rainfall to quench our region’s thirst for more precipitation.

~Meteorologist Christine Gregory

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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