While February temperatures were nearly 3 degrees colder than normal, the month was without the intense cold and single-digit temperatures of January. But the polar vortex came roaring back just a few days into meteorological spring, with lows of 5 degrees and 4 degrees on March 3 and March 4, respectively. The latter was Baltimore's coldest March reading on record, breaking a record that dated to 1873 and the second inauguration of President Ulysses S. Grant down the road in Washington, D.C. The lows were the sixth and seventh instances of single-digit temperatures in March in Baltimore, and the first since 2009. Above, Cynthia Stokes of East Baltimore waits for a ride to work on North Avenue.
(Kim Hairston, Baltimore Sun / March 4, 2014)
It's not just you. It has been exceptionally cold so far this year -- on average, the coldest in more than 30 years now.
March ended with an average temperature of 38.5 degrees at BWI Airport, 5.1 degrees colder than normal. On only about two dozen occasions has March ended with an average temperature below 40 degrees in Baltimore.
The mark ranks March 2014 as the 10th coldest March on record here and the coldest since 1984.
The average temperature at BWI so far in 2014 is just shy of 33 degrees. That ranks as the seventh coldest start to any year, and the coldest since 1978.
The cold trend could continue. The Climate Prediction Center in College Park forecasts a slight propensity toward colder-than-normal temperatures through mid-April.
The good news is that normal highs by mid-April are in the mid-60s, so even a few degrees below that should feel mild by this year's standards.
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