The article will focus on all of the records that fell specifically for those two cities. If had to mention all of the records that were broken in Nebraska during the March heatwave, I would be writing until next March! Over 7,000 daily record high temps and numerous warm minimum temperature records were broken in the area east of the Rockies to the Ohio Valley.
The first month of spring season felt more like summer. The record breaking average high temperatures in Lincoln and Grand Island were well above normal. The average high in Lincoln (69.5°) was 17.2° warmer than normal and the average high in Grand Island (69.2°) was 18.1° warmer than normal. There were only two days, in both cities, where the high temperature was below normal. Otherwise, the period from March 12 to March 31 was anomalously warmer than normal. During that time, high temperatures averaged 21°-22° above normal with at least 3 days with temperatures 30° above normal! The last day of the month was the warmest day. Lincoln posted a high temperature of 91°, which was the all-time record high for March and Grand Island measured a high of 88°. It was on October 4, 2011, 178 days ago, when we had temperatures that warm!
Instead of writing all of the records longhand in paragraph form, I’m going to take a short cut and make a list. Some of the information was provided by the hard-wording number crunchers at the National Weather Service offices in Hastings and Valley.
Lincoln Grand Island
Number of days in the: Number of days in the:
90s – 1 80s – 8
80s – 9 70s – 8
70s – 7 60s – 7
60s – 7
Records Old Records Old
3/13 Max. Temp 83° 80°/2007 3/16 Max. Temp 83° 80°/2009
3/16 Min. Temp 60° 58°/1894 3/17 Max. Temp 84° 81°/1994
3/17 Min. Temp 62° 56°/1903 3/18 Min. Temp 57° 54°/1968
3/21 Min. Temp 51° 49°/1894
3/31 Max. Temp 91° 88°/1946
It would be foolish of me to say that the mild March is foreshadowing what the remainder of spring and the upcoming summer has to offer. What we do know is that overall temperatures, in Nebraska have been typically warmer than this year, so far. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the rest of the year will be that way. Mother Nature has a funny way of balancing out the atmosphere. We will have to just have to wait and see what she has in store for us.
Meteorologist Tony DeGrand