March is driest on record so far in Rochester, could be top ten lowest snowfall

Weather Blog

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The warmth may be welcome across Western New York, but lack of precipitation may hurt those that need it by late spring and summer.

Rochester is well below average for both rain and snow through March 23. Let’s start with snow, or lack thereof.


Rochester has 1.4″ of snow on the month with the only accumulating snow (not including trace) falling through March 4. That puts the city down as top five least snowy Marches on record (see chart below).

There is still a week left to the month, but signs point toward only a trace or so possible and that would keep us at least in the top ten.


A large portion of New York is under “abnormally dry” conditions and some parts of the north country are under a moderate drought. Rochester is now running over an inch and a half below normal for precipitation in March.

Only 0.18″ has fallen over the last 23 days, making March 2021 so far the driest on record. Rain to finish the month should add to this value, but it is worth watching.

Thefire season has begun with a burn ban for any brush, according to the DEC.

Wildfire threat has been heightened as conditions remain dry.


Rochester hit a record high temperature of 71° on the 11th and more warmth this week will likely raise the average temperature that sits at 34.6° for the month. Some cold days at the beginning of March kept this number down and barely in the top 40 warmest months.

This number will change because of the continued warmth this week, but it is unlikely we crack the top ten by the end of March.


Rochester has now had seven “clear sky” days. On a scale of 0-10 with 0 being complete sun and 10 being complete cloud cover, a clear sky day is 0-3. Rochester only had one of these in January and February combined.

There has not been a March with that many clear sky days in the past five years.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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