The month of March started with cold temperatures and loads of snow on the ground, but ended with sunshine and highs around 80. Iowa State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says, on average, the third month of year was a little warmer than normal with slightly less precipitation than usual.

Average temperatures were 3.7 degrees warmer than normal. Iowa received a statewide average of just under two inches of precipitation. The winter of 2009-2010 was one of the coldest and snowiest in state history. Hillaker says Iowans received a welcome break from that snow in March.

“We had a statewide average of just two inches of snow during March, which is less than half the usual amount,” Hillaker said. “We really only had one snowfall of consequence on March 19th into the morning of the 20th.” Portions of northern Iowa received no measurable snow last month. The forecast for the first weekend of April includes rain and thunderstorms. Hillaker says Iowa did not have a single severe weather event in March.

“Which is a little bit unusual not to see anything whatsoever,” Hillaker said. “March is not typically a big month for severe storms, but we usually get a few of them on an isolated basis.”