TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – March 2020 will go down in the record books as the second warmest and one of the driest ever.
Second warmest Marches on record
With an average temperature of 74.3 degrees, it ranks as the second warmest March since record keeping began in 1890. The average is calculated by adding up the highs and lows of each day and dividing by the number of days in the month.
March 19, 21 and 27 all recorded a high temperature of 89 degrees. That’s just three degrees shy of the warmest temperature ever recorded in any March of 92 degrees in 1907. We had a total of 28 days with temperatures at or above normal and a total of 25 days with highs in the 80s.
A total of five record high temperatures were tied or broken in March of 2020. This all led to an average temperature of 74.3 degrees for the entire month, which was just 0.1 degrees shy of the warmest March (2012, 74.4 degrees) since records began.
Tampa only saw three days in March with below-average temperatures this year. The coolest temperature recorded was a low temperature of 46 degrees on March 1.
Tied for the driest March
The Tampa International Airport also only saw a “trace” of rain meaning no measurable rainfall was recorded in all 31 days. This ties for first place as the driest March ever since records began in 1890.
Only two previous Marches have recorded a trace of rainfall in 130 years, 2006 and 1907. This is only the ninth time Tampa has received no measurable rainfall in a whole calendar month. The last time this happened was back in October of 2010.
Even with a last-minute cold front that came through on March 31 and brought measurable amounts of rainfall to certain areas, the sensor at the airport only recorded a trace of rain.
With the dry March and below-average rainfall during the months of January and February, our entire area in west-central and central Florida is considered abnormally dry by the US Drought Monitor. With a lack of rain in the near future, many areas could be headed for a more severe drought in the coming weeks.